Honda employee of 24 years sums up Brexit in four eloquent words

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The plant now produces 150,000 cars a year, the Press Association reports.

Though the announcement was framed as a proposal, not a definite decision, the automaker said the factory's "current role as a global manufacturing hub may no longer be viable".

Similarly, Honda's decision to close its only British auto plant is not related to Brexit and is a product of global changes in the industry, the firm's Europe's boss said on Tuesday. In fact, the Honda statement blamed changing conditions in the global market and reinforced a desire to prepare its manufacturing network for the future. President, Honda Motor Europe, Katsushi Inoue, said: "This has not been taken lightly and we deeply regret how unsettling the announcement will be for our people".

He said the union represented more than 1,200 workers at the plant, and they had not been told if the reports were correct. It said the conference will address a change in operational structure.

Honda earlier said that its only European Union plant will shut in 2021, becoming just the latest Japanese firm to downsize operations in Britain as Brexit looms.

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Hachigo said the company would begin discussions with affected workers at the factory in Swindon right away.

"The vehicle industry in the United Kingdom over the last two decades has been the jewel in the crown for the manufacturing sector - and now it has been brought low by the chaotic Brexit uncertainty", said Des Quinn, national officer for the automotive sector at Britain's biggest trade union Unite. Honda also operates two plants in Mexico that now build the Fit, HR-V, and CR-V.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pleaded against a no-deal Brexit in recent talks with his British and German counterparts, telling Theresa May last month: "We truly hope that a no-deal Brexit will be avoided and in fact this is the. wish of the whole world".

A Honda spokesman tells us that the company is "considering adding production of the Civic hatchback in North America, starting from the next-generation model, to serve our customers in the North American market".

However, global businesses need to take into account changes in the worldwide market.

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"The usual formula is one job in the plant equates to four in the supply chain and the local economy".

The confirmation of the closure of Honda's Swindon plant is causing real concern across Wales' automotive industry.

"This Government has failed to create an environment of business confidence". It's expected workers will be phased out as the plan winds down over the next two years.

But it's hard not to consider the effect of Brexit, which will potentially make it harder for Honda to do business in Britain. "Businesses have lost faith in the government's austerity program and total lack of vision or investment for our future".

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