Honda cuts 800 UK jobs

Honda Swindon factory
11 Jan, 2013 10:08am Chris Ebbs

Honda has announced it will cut 800 jobs at its Swindon plant, due to poor demand across Europe

Honda is set to cut 800 jobs at its Swindon plant, with the firm blaming weak demand across Europe.

The factory - which builds the Civic, Jazz and CR-V models - currently employs 3,500 people, having recruited an extra 500 employees to help produce the new CR-V.

However, while the factory has the capacity to built 250,000 cars a year, it produced just 166,000 in 2012.

“Honda remains fully committed for the long-term to its UK and European manufacturing operations,” said Ken Keir, Executive Vice President of Honda Motor Europe. “However, these conditions of sustained low industry demand require us to take difficult decisions.”

The Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders' Chief Executive, Paul Everitt, said: “This is very disappointing news for Honda staff and their families. The decline in European new car markets and uncertain growth prospects has forced a number of vehicle manufacturers to restructure their operations.”

This is the first time Honda has cut jobs in the UK since it first began manufacturing here in 1992.

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Not surprised, sorry for those who'll go.
I had a previous generation Civic 2.2. Great design inside and out, still enjoyed getting into it after 125000 miles, fast, reliable.
Was going to replace with the new version but changed my mind after it was launched - looks terrible, fussy interior, no personality. Went with a 1-series instead.

Think they charge to much, I have always loved Hondas they are great cars but they seem to not know what customers to target their cars at, is it premium german brand car buyers or buyers of Kia's, Hyundai's ETC

As I have said on several occasions:
1) Many Japanese firms are struggling because they have become complacent and are offering uncompetitive product (e.g. Civic). In an overcrowded market there is no place for the mediocre.
2) Japanese firms will do exactly the same as Ford when the going gets tough. After all the hate over Ford laying off UK workers, "beyond reproach" Honda have done exactly the same thing! Ditto Sony, Sanyo, Mitsubishi, etc. before them. They are no different to Ford, GM, etc.

Honda need to urgently hire stylists capable of creating a desirable car. The Civic fails from every angle. Likewise Toyota with their bashed biscuit tin 'design language'.

What a lot of rubbish. Uncompetitive products? Thats obviously just your personal opinion. The Jazz, Civic and new CRV are highly competitive products and rival the premium German brands for quality. Thats why they consistantly top reliability surveys like AE's own driver power survey. Honda are far from a struggling company - you obviously didnt catch Mr Ken Keirs remark about Honda doing well in the US and Asia in a BBC interview. Honda is a business at the end of the day (like Ford) and they will restructure and make cut backs where necessary as they both have done - thats good business sense, though sadly at the expense of 800 jobs.
Your comparison between Ford and Honda in the UK is daft. Honda make three model lines in the UK exported all over the world. Tell me what Ford do in the UK these days re. manufacture??
And what about other Japanese companies manufacturing ops in the UK, Toyota and Nissan as well as other Japanese firms who supply parts and components??

Agree completely! Chances are I would only ever buy a Japanese car. Not Eurojunk.

Honda just don't seem to be making desirable cars at present. The US Civic and Civic Coupe are far nicer and more of what their traditional customers expect. Hyundai and Kia have taken their customers away I'm afraid to say.

Ford and Peugeot are also struggling in Europe, in fact losing Money, didn;t Ford close a factory in belgium , and Peugeot looking for a some sort of bailout ?

Japanese companies are not being complacent, they are in fact very competitive and amongst themselves they are very fiercely competive and well as with evryone else.. What's not helping is the very strong Yen kept artifically by certain countries, and well as the artfically weak Won, helping Hyundai, Kia, Samung, LG very much indeed,

That's not to say they are faultless,in hindsight there are certain things that could have been done differently..

Garbage. The Civic is widely acknowledged as below par and Japanese firms such as Mitsubishi, Subaru and Suzuki are in terminal decline. The new Auris is another dud in the making. Same story in the electronics industry where Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, etc. can no longer compete with firms like Samsung and LG.
Consumer surveys like the ones AE does are good for selling magazines but are of questionable reliability and validity. They are very subjective and do not compare cars in any way which is meaningful. If you believe the findings of lightweight "research" like this you will believe anything. And as for Ford I think you will find that they employ over 10,000 people in the UK, which is an awful lot more than Honda and Toyota do in their UK screwdriver plants.

Then you are sadly misguided. Are you by any chance marooned in a 1980s timewarp?

They are in danger of being eclipsed completely if they do not raise their game substantially over the next 5-10 years. Many once great firms in many fields have fallen by the wayside in recent years, and many of those that are left look increasingly vunerable. Once we are hit by a wave of high quality, low cost Chinese cars it is inevitable that they will be squeezed still further.

I understand this is an auto magazine, so typical readers will be automotive enthusiasts of some sort... if you put your like of the car aside, you may understand that Honda UK is cutting jobs not merely because of their product, but the European economy is making things very difficult not just for Honda, but other manufactures.

In America, Honda is doing just fine. However, Honda manufacturing in America is a huge temp agency revolving door (they hire a lot of temp workers); Honda's press releases will have you thinking otherwise.

Once people didn't mind driving usually ugly japanese designed cars - because they were much cheaper and far more reliable. But with higher prices one may as well buy a uk/euro designed car with has more passion and pedigree, is much better looking and keeps it's value better even though they don't come top in the reliability charts.

Also another comment - Hyundai with it's more euro designed car appeal better be careful too- With thier top model car approaching 30k for the new Santa Fe, UK buyers are going to think if I am spending this sort of cash I may as well buy a LR Evoque. The real thing as opposed to imitations.

Yet again, utter rubbish and looking at the above it seems others also disagree. It is clear you just base your arguments on (obviously anti - Japanese) opinion rather than being subjective and giving us some facts to back your comments. I certainly dont read any reports on the new Civic and Auris that suggests they are 'duds'. In fact I was just reading a report on the new Civic diesel in another weekly magazine which was given 4 stars. Murgatroyd, where are you reading that the Civic and Auris are duds? Back this with some facts please?
Amusingly, you are obviously reading and commenting on Auto Express but yet are questioning the reliability and validity of this publication??!!
And again on the subject of Ford manufacturing compared to Honda, Nissan and Toyota, your comment is frankly a joke. Again I ask what vehicles to Ford manufacture in the UK?? What do those '10,000' workers do for Ford??

Like the way you are using two different posting names Meister/Murgatroyd - to try and add clout to you comments - very smart!

So effectively you've gone from bad to awful!

buy the Civic Sedan from eastern europe if you like it. too bad it does not come with a diesel engine, even tough they just launched a new 1.6D. good cars. bad commerce.