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Honda cuts 800 jobs at Swindon Plant

Fri, 11 Jan 2013

Honda is cutting 800 jobs at its Swindon Plant as demand for cars across Europe weakens and moving to a single shift system.

We’ve not had a huge amount of bad news in the UK car industry for some time, but Honda’s decision to cut 800 jobs at its Swindon Plant is a tough pill to swallow for the workforce.

Honda blames ‘Sustained conditions of low demand’ in Europe for the swathing cuts in its workforce in the, but believes the move is necessary to protect the long-term future of Swindon.

The Swindon plant is able to build up to 250,000 cars a year, but 2012 saw just 166,000 cars built as demand across Europe waned in the midst of the on-going Eurozone meltdown.

It looks like Honda are planning to cut out one of the two shifts they currently run at Swindon and move to a single shift system, which means cutting the current workforce from 3,500 to 2,700. It’s the first time Honda has cut the workforce in Swindon since the plant opened in 1992.

Honda’s Euro VP, Ken Keir, said:

Honda remains fully committed for the long-term to its UK and European manufacturing operations. However, these conditions of sustained low industry demand require us to take difficult decisions. We are setting the business constitution at the right level to ensure long term stability and security.

The sad thing is that it’s only a year since Honda increased the workforce at Swindon by 500 on expectations that it would build 180,000 cars in 2012. It looks like Honda’s analysts made a mess of their forecasts and the workforce now pays the price.

But if it hadn’t been for the strong UK car market – which bought a third of all the cars built in Swindon last year – the job cuts would probably have been even greater.

By Cars UK