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Honda to STOP production because of BREXIT: Shock decision over ‘expected’ border chaos

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HONDA announced on Thursday it will cease production for six days in April at its Swindon plant due to border disruptions expected as a result a no-deal Brexit.

The company annoucned the measures on Thursday as debate rages on around the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU on March 29.

Fears are mounting that industries such as the car and agricultural sectors will be affected by Brexit – particuarly if the UK exits on no-deal terms.

The news follows a meeting between Theresa May and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday.

The Japanese leader was meeting with Mrs May to warn of the potential risks of to trade posed by a no-deal Brexit between the two nations.

On Thursday, Honda whio invested £200million in its Swindon hub, said in a statement: “Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd has been assessing how best to prepare for any disruption caused by logistics and border issues following the UK leaving the EU on 29 March 2019.

“To ensure Honda is well paced to adjust to all possible outcomes, we are planing six non-production days in April 2019.

“This is to facilitate production recovery activity following any delays at borders on parts. These contingency provisions have been put in place to best mitigate the risk of disruption to production operations at the Swindon factory.”

Japanese carmakers fear leaving the EU without a deal could cost their UK operations millions in additional tariffs and cause major disruption.

Major manufacturers Nissan, Toyota and Honda all have factories in the UK and use it as a gateway to EU markets.

About 80 percent of Toyota’s UK-made vehicles are exported to the EU compared with 55 percent of Nissan’s and 40 percent of Honda’s.

Ahead of his visit, Mr Abe said on Wednesday: “World attention is focused on the UK’s exit from the EU.

“Precisely because of this problem, it is very meaningful for me to visit the UK and exchange opinions. I want to properly convey Japan’s thinking.”

Last year, the senior vice-president of Honda Europe warned that if the UK left the EU without a deal, it would cost his company tens of millions of pounds.

Ian howells told the BBC that leaving with a no deal Brecit would directly affect the company’s competitiveness in the European market.

Honda employs around 3,400 people in its Swindon plant, where it manufactures the Civic model for the global market.

In 2013 , 800 jobs were axed from the plant.

The shuddown will allow Honda to Stockpile parts  following Britain’s departure from the EU.

Mr Abe said after his meeting with Mrs May that he hoped a no-deal Brexit would be avoided.

Mr Abe said: “It is the strong will of Japan to further develop this strong partnership with the UK, to invest more into the country and to enjoy further economic growth with the UK,”  said through a translator at a news conference in London alongside British Prime Minister Theresa May.

“That is why we truly hope that a no-deal Brexit will be avoided and in fact that is the wish of the whole world.”

Another Japanese car firm, Toyota, revealed it had “no contingency for no deal” on Thursday.

A Toyota spokesperson said: “We need a deal. We will have peak production in March because we have a new model, the Corolla.

“There is no planned production stop. No deal is not an option for us.

“We operate lean manufacturing and hold hours of inventory at the plant.”

In other car news, Rolls-Royce has committed its future to Britain in a major boost for the UK’s car manufacturing industry after Brexit.

Chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos said the marque “belongs to Britain” and the luxury cars would continue to be built at its plant in Goodwood, regardless of the type of deal struck with the European Union.

And Ford and Jaguar Land Rover unveiled sweeping job cuts across Europe on Thursday as carmakers struggle with a slump in demand for diesel vehicles, tougher emissions rules and a global economic slowdown led by China.


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