TOKYO (Reuters) – Honda has agreed to sell its only British car plant in Swindon, southern England, to logistics giant Panattoni, a company spokesman said on Saturday, as the new owner plans to make a large investment in the expanding site.
The Japanese automaker, which generates about one-tenth of Britain’s production of 1.5 million cars, made the decision two years after announcing its intention in 2019 to cease production at its Swindon plant. The closure of the plant is expected to cause the loss of 3,500 jobs.
Honda, which has been struggling in Europe, has said the plant closure was not related to Britain’s exit from the European Union, but that it needed to focus its activities on the regions where it expects to sell the most cars.
Panattoni said it was investing 700 million pounds ($ 965 million) in its logistics-related development, with the aim of creating new jobs, once Honda completes the decommissioning of the plant that builds its Civic hatchbacks, probably next spring, the Financial Times reported. earlier.
The latest move followed decisions by electronics companies Sony and Panasonic to move their headquarters to the EU from Britain, while Hitachi shelved a nuclear power project in Britain amid Brexit.
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Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu and Tetsushi Kajimoto; Edited by Shri Navaratnam