Honda to Close UK Plant Where Honda Civic Type R is Assembled
Honda has decided to shut down its Swindon vehicle manufacturing plant in the United Kingdom by 2021, citing the carmaker’s commitment to manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) as the reason for the closure.
According to Honda, it is committed to manufacturing EVs “in response to the unprecedented changes in the global automotive industry,” making the Japanese carmaker revise its global manufacturing operations and focus on regions “where it expects to have high production volumes.”
“In light of the unprecedented changes that are affecting our industry, it is vital that we accelerate our electrification strategy and restructure our global operations accordingly,” said Katsushi Inoue, chief officer for European Regional Operations for Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and president of Honda Motor Europe. “As a result, we have had to take this difficult decision to consult our workforce on how we might prepare our manufacturing network for the future. This has not been taken lightly and we deeply regret how unsettling today’s announcement will be for our people.”
Does this mean we’re seeing the last of the Honda Civic Type R? Philippine-market speculators who were one of the first to buy the Type R and tried to flip it almost immediately with a markup of over PHP1 million–and current current owners–would like to think so, as their units will instantly become collectibles. But considering there’s still a demand for the Type R, it’s entirely possible that Honda will just move its production to another location. Or with the thrust toward EVs, perhaps Honda might come out with the very first hybrid Type R. As usual, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Previously, the Swindon plant produced the Honda Accord, Honda Jazz, and until 2018, the Honda CR-V. Today, only the Civic and the high-performance Civic Type R are manufactured on-site. Currently, the plant employs around 3,500 and produces 150,000 cars per year.