Honda has unveiled more job cuts at its manufacturing operations in the United Kingdom, citing slumping sales in Europe. According to Honda, it planned to move from a three-shift to a two-shift pattern at its Swindon site in England, which should result in an estimated 340 job losses. The move means that the Japanese carmaker is now expecting to build around 120,000 vehicles in 2014 at its Swindon plant, representing a 15-percent drop from its production in 2013, tagged at 140,094 vehicles.
Honda has been building cars at Swindon since 1992, producing the Civic, Civic Tourer, CR-V and Jazz models for the British and European markets. The site could produce up to 250,000 cars a year. Honda’s market share in EU and EFTA countries has dropped 1 percent from 1.1 percent so far this year. In the first two months of 2014, the carmaker’s sales in the region fell 10 percent to 18,037, according to figures from the industry body ACEA.
Ian Howells, senior vice president of Honda Motor Europe, remarked that the Japanese carmaker had not seen the growth it had forecasted over the past year. "With no increase forecasted for the next couple of years, we must scale our manufacturing activity accordingly," Howells said in a statement. Howells said Honda was confident in the long-term future of the Swindon site after a restructuring that followed 800 job cuts in 2013.