It is the news factory workers have been dreading, which may not just be a devastating blow to employers but may have far-reaching political ramifications, at home and around the world.
The Japanese car giant Honda has announced it is closing its British car factory in the town of Swindon in Wiltshire, in the South West of England. The plant is due to cease operations in two years’ time, in 2021, causing thousands of factory workers to lose their jobs.
The closure will see 3,500 factory workers being made redundant. A move which has understandably infuriated union members, who believe Honda is giving in to demands from the US President Donald Trump to produce more cars in America instead of Europe. Trade unionists maintain ceasing production in the UK may be an attempt to evade tariffs Trump has put on vehicles imported to the United States.
Some are also pointing the finger at political and economic uncertainty over Brexit, and the effect of whether the UK stays in the EU may have on car production.
However, Honda has claimed there is no political motivation behind its decision. The company says closing the doors of its factory in Swindon is an after effect of their move away from producing petrol powered to electrical vehicles.
The car manufacturer has stated that the factory closure is indicative of Honda’s wider business strategy, in keeping with changing trends in the car industry around the world.
Honda has announced it is moving ahead with its plans to concentrate on building electric cars, which will lead to employing different resources and production systems from those used in the production of petrol cars.
However, this may not go some way to soften the blow for factory workers who feel their services are no longer required. There is no denying, for many, it is a sad time for car production in Britain, as well as employment levels in Swindon.