Honda is planning to cut around 800 jobs at its South Marston plant near Swindon in England after having posted declining demand across mainland Europe. The carmaker disclosed Friday that it would hold a formal consultation with staff over the job cuts, which will occur by the second quarter of 2013. Honda employs around 3,500 people at the South Marston plant, where it builds the Honda Civic.
Carmakers are hard-pressed to shut down underused plant and cut surplus jobs in Europe, as demand for vehicles in major markets like France and Germany continues to dwindle. Honda Motor Europe's executive vice president Ken Keir said that the Japanese carmaker remains fully committed in the long-term to its UK and European manufacturing operations.
He noted that conditions of sustained low industry demand require Honda to take difficult decisions. He remarked that they are setting the business constitution at the right level to ensure long-term stability and security. In late 2012, Ford disclosed plans to cut 1,400 jobs at plants in southern England and terminate vehicle production in the UK.
Ford and Volvo also intend to cut thousands of jobs in Belgium, while PSA Peugeot Citroen plans to reduce its workforce in France. According to Honda, its UK sales remained strong and it is confident for the long term for both manufacturing and sales in the country.
The SMMT car industry body recently disclosed that new car registrations in the UK surged 5.3 percent in 2012 to 2.04 million. Honda plans to continue building cars and engines in the UK with the Civic Estate and the Civic Type R models due for production in Swindon from 2014.