Is Japan losing faith in the UK — Honda

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While Honda at Swindon hadn't been running at full capacity for a while, the emergence of rumours around its closure still came as a surprise.

The announcement comes just weeks before the United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union as part of its Brexit withdrawal plan, which comes into effect on 29 March, 2019, although the vehicle makers say the move to pull out of the United Kingdom is part of a global restructuring plan.

Sky News journalist Mark Kleinman broke the news on Twitter and said that the company would make the announcement on Tuesday, February 19.

Honda has previously warned that a no-deal Brexit would cost it tens of millions of pounds.

"We have made a decision to carry out this production realignment in Europe in light of our efforts to optimize production allocation and production capacity globally as well as accelerating electrification", Hachigo said. "We deeply regret the impact it will have on the Swindon community". "This decision was not informed by Brexit". European Civic sales stood at 42,308 previous year, a six percent rise.

Under Mr Hachigo, Honda is undergoing a sweeping restructuring of its global footprint, according to Bloomberg.

"Alastair: the senior vice president in Europe has said it's nothing to do with Brexit".

Justin Tomlinson, a local lawmaker who voted for Brexit in 2016 told Reuters that "it is a reflection of the global market". With current output, the plant produces 150,000 cars per year.

The company says its Civic production in the European Union will shift to China, Japan, and North America.

Civic production is likely to move back to Japan.

The plant, located in Swindon, now builds the Honda Civic hatchback and the Civic Type R models.

The UK government also said it would not comment until a proper announcement has been made.

"They are seeking to consolidate production in Japan", he said.

The restructuring will also involve Honda's operations in Turkey, which now produce 38,000 Civic sedans per year. Under the deal, the bloc will axe 10-percent tariffs on cars imported from Japan in 2027. If Britain leaves the European Union, it could cause serious issues with companies that reside in the country but export to other countries.

Hachigo said the trade pact will improve the competitiveness of Japanese exports in the European market.

The move comes as another blow to UK's auto industry before Brexit. PSA Group's Vauxhall Ellesmere Port site is in doubt as it mulls plans for the next Astra.

"The government has an industrial policy that is well-intentioned but really doesn't go far enough".

Honda also said it will stop making the current Civic Sedan model in Turkey but will continue business operations in the country.

The industry's future is in the development of electric vehicles. The global automotive industry is facing fundamental changes: "technological, commercial and environmental, as well as escalating trade tensions, and all manufacturers are facing hard decisions", Hawes said.

Regarding Honda's decision, the company "seems to have been preparing for this for a long time", Seiji Sugiura, analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute, told AFP. It only builds the Civic in 2019, including the hot-rodded Type R model sold in America.