Honda is closing its Swindon plant where 3,500 people are employed building the new Honda Civic, reports indicate.

The Honda factory in Wiltshire is set to shut permanently in 2022, although the Japanese manufacturer will keep its European headquarters in Bracknell, while its Formula One racing team operations will remain in the UK as well, according to Sky News and the BBC. When contacted by Auto Express, Honda declined to comment.

The Swindon plant is Honda’s only factory in the EU, and around 100,000 Civics are built there each year. The factory is currently the only location in the world that builds the Civic Hatch and in 2018, the Civic was the third-best-selling UK-built car globally.

The news of the Honda Swindon closure is a development on the announcement last week that Honda would be axing around 500 temporary jobs at the factory.

On 1 February 2019, a new trade deal between the EU and Japan came into force. The deal will bring an end to the 10 per cent tariff currently applied to Japanese cars imported into the EU, although this change is being introduced gradually over a period of seven years in order to allow European carmakers to prepare.

Honda UK Manufacturing was founded in 1985 and production at the Swindon engine plant started in 1989. Over the years, Honda has invested a total of around £1.5 billion in the 370-acre site, with models such as the Accord, CR-V and Jazz all being produced there over the years.

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