Autocar Honda to slash production in Swindon, placing 340 jobs at risk

Discussion in 'News Feeds' started by Autocar, Tuesday 25th Mar, 2014.

  1. Autocar Auto-Generated News Feed

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    Japanese manufacturer announces plans to scale down its shift patterns in Swindon, resulting in the potential loss of hundreds of jobs

    Honda is slashing production at its factory in Swindon, resulting in the potential loss of 340 jobs.

    Company officials blame poor growth in the UK as the reason behind the move, with European vice president Ian Howells reporting that "over the last 12 months, we haven't seen the growth we expected".

    The planned cuts include 160 temporary positions, putting a sizeable dent in the 3000-strong workforce based at the Swindon factory. Cars produced at the site include the Civic, Civic Tourer, Jazz and CR-V. As of next year, the new Civic Type-R will also be made at the site.

    Unions have reacted to the news, with a spokesman for Unite saying it was "very bad news". As well as cutting shifts at the plant down from three to two, Honda is also moving all production to single line in order to increase efficiency.

    This isn't the first time Honda has had to cut its UK workforce. The Japanese car maker announced plans in January last year to cut up to 800 jobs from its UK operations. In the end, that figure was reduced to around 550 voluntary redundancies, and 38 compulsory.

    Honda is forecasting that although the Swindon plant has the capacity to build some 250,000 cars annually, it plans to make just 120,000 units this year. The site made 140,094 cars in 2013, down from 165,607 units in 2012.

    The company blames continuing difficulties in mainland Europe for the drop in production, even though its sales in the UK are currently up by over four per cent on last year.

    In a statement, Howells said: "With no increase forecasted for the next couple of years, we must scale our manufacturing activity accordingly.

    “However, with the restructuring we’re taking today, and our new model plans, we remain confident in the long-term future of our Swindon plant.

    “Our Swindon operation continues to be the hub for our European car manufacturing activity.”

    Source: AutoCar
     
  2. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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    Maybe I'm wrong but I suspect it's more about poor marketing which is causing this. I see BMW, AUDI, VW and Mercedes everywhere and most of them are less than five years old and these aren't cheap cars so I don't believe it's the economy. I've definitely seen an increase in CR-V's about but the Accord is definitely underrepresented. They need to get Honda firmly in the mind set of people.
     
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  3. Chunkylover53 Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Agreed - add it to the fact that Honda don't sell many cars to fleet hence used values are higher/equal ze German equivalents. Plus for the "normal" consumer for a few grand extra they would go for the German car anyway. Trying to shake Honda's image in the UK is going to be hard, if only people here had the same mindset of those in the USA who revere and adore their Honda's despite them being so much more uglier.
     
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  4. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    is this story for real? there has been no offical startement to this effect on either Honda Europe or Honda UK media sites?
     
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  5. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    If this story is real , in a nut shell there is no mass appeal for the Civic and the Civic Tourer both are ugly to the majority and only appealing to the minority.CR-V is better looking and a handsome car but again limited appeal.

    Jazz segement the age group does not do any major miles so why will they need new car every 3 years. There is no mass bulk purchase with a reveloving car culture yet with this range.

    Since Honda is currently a three car showroom now you have scaked the Accord, Insigtht and CR-Z what do you expect where is the line up.. you just have to see the Honda motorcycle line up to get the REAL meaning of depth.. Honda cars is out of its depth in the UK full stop so why blame Europe?
     
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    John Dickson likes this.
  6. Nels Moderator Staff Team

    Just seen it on the BBC News ...
     
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  7. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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  8. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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    What about the Legend, how does it sell in the UK?
     
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  9. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    Agree that marketing is a huge issue for Honda in the UK - it's been discussed at length on here before!

    In the last few days I've had four people in my Accord who haven't been in it before - all work colleagues - Volvo and Audi drivers. In EVERY case they have been very impressed with how smooth and quiet it is, and how much equipment it has.

    Two points though:

    1. As pointed out above, Honda isn't on my company car list, and also isn't on many others I suspect.
    2. The most frequent comment (not just from the past few days) is "I didn't know Honda made a car like this."

    It doesn't take Kojak to work out the reason...no advertising = no brand or product recognition. Shameful, frankly.
     
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  10. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    There is marketing for Honda cars there are adverts for the new Civic,new CR-V,new Civic Tourer..As for the Jazz it sells by with word of mouth to a small niche ..but there is a limit of adverts and marketing for three models come on!! does not take a genius to figure there is NO depth in the brand.
     
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  11. Beefy Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Stoke
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    Holdcroft have some realy good deals on company cars. we have already sold a job lot of 60 + CR-V's to one leaseing company and are waiting for confirmation on annother 60. honda are selling cars but not at the rate they forcast for europe. the lineup is somewhat boring though and the new Type-R couldn't come quick enough.
     
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  12. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    Looks like the UK will bail out yeah EU yet again .. I may have to call up my company car and get a CR-V ..what am I saying LOL.
     
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  13. Mike c Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Mike Telford
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    Honda has invested a huge amount of money into the plant at Swindon, the supporting road structure , training and development , and as such it would not be a viable proposition to pull out of the UK . This is particularly the case now that the economy is starting to pick up and car sales are starting to rise. I would think that Honda are taking the decision to reduce production and more importantly overheads to preserve the business in a secure state. As the economy continues to improve I have no doubt that the company will rebuild its production and maybe even consider adding to their range of vehicles perhaps even the replacement for the HR-V?
    Mike c
     
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  14. Chunkylover53 Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    I read that the Vezel (HR-V replacement) will be made in Mexico of all places. Every car made is going to be quality of a Friday afternoon car in Swindon.
     
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  15. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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    I find it disappointing that any reputable company would use Mexico until they sort out the almost infinite number of problems they have, including kidnapping children in order to harvest their organs. But then I guess it's a double edged sword in that how can they afford to sort out their problems unless companies invest in them. It's easier said than done of course but Central and South America really is a mess with regard to crime. What with the threats against the families I wonder if the solution is to call for outside help in order to cleanse of Cartels and crime lords?

    Back on topic... lol

    One thing that the German's have over Honda is the broad engine choices for each model. Could this also have some impact on things?
     
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    John Dickson likes this.
  16. John Dickson Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    At the risk of repeating myself and others, the current problems are:

    1) Limited at best, if not almost zero appeal for most of Swindon Products - see all current Civic derivatives in particular.

    2) High price with no "headlines" as to what you are getting in terms of engineering excellence when you pay more for a Honda. The cheapy, naff looking matt black plastic on both Civic and CR-V looks very low rent... On a £8,995 Dacia yes it's acceptable but on a £22k+ car? :Nuts: Come on Honda ditch it all together or at least colour code it free of charge. You've done it before so the excuses I've heard are just that and hold no water.

    3) Sack the current designers for starters. Accord and CR-Z look great and were designed in Japan, (I suspect) as was FN2.

    4) Scrapping of Accord (which was excellent value despite what the press say - see Mondeo and Insignia MRPs never mind the German sh!te for concrete proof of this) leaves a value vacuum in the range "You want me to pay how much for a Civic!!!!??!!!!!?" CR-V is bloody expensive!

    5) Audi, BMW, Mercedes will do you just about any conceivable variation of trim and engine on most of their models. Obviously this is what the market wants as these are selling like hot cakes so the "Recession" is a lame cop out of an excuse.

    If only we could get into Honda Europe marketing...... :Rant: sort their ideas out and get them into shape:Baseballbat::GoodJob: