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Honda’s Only British Car Plant Will Be Bought By Logistics Giant Panattoni

Honda’s Only British Car Plant Will Be Bought By Logistics Giant Panattoni
Japanese auto major Honda will be selling off its only factory in the United Kingdom at Swindon in southern England to the logistics firm Panattoni, said a spokesman of the company.
According to reports, the new owner of the factory also has plans to make a big investment  at the huge manufacturing site.  
About one tenth of its total production of 1.5 million cars annually is made by the Japanese auto company in the UK. it was two years ago in 2019 that Honda had announced its plans of stopping production at its Swindon plant and the sale announcement comes now. It is expected that there will be loss of 3,500 jobs by the closure of the plant.
In recent years, Honda has not been able to do well in the European market. The Japanese  company has however also stressed that the shut down of the plant in the UK is in no way related to the departure of the UK from the European Union. Instead the company has said that this decision was prompted by its need for focusing on its activities in the regions and markets where the company feels it will be able to sell most of its cars.
According to reports, the production of its Civic cars would be stopped at the plant by Honda kin July this year and the decommission process of the plant will start5 thereafter. It is expected that Honda will hand over the plant to Panattoni in early 2022. Reports also said that Honda will be selling off the manufacturing equipment at the plant soon by an online auction.
One of the biggest developers of industrial and logistics facilities in Europe, Panattoni has reportedly committed to investing more than £700 million to redevelop the huge plant area to attract new businesses there to set up shop. It will work with Swindon Borough Countil on the regeneration project.
An investment of 700 million pounds ($965 million) is to be made in its logistics related development, Panattoni said. The company said that with this investment it would be able to create new jobs. The investment will be made by the British logistic company once the decommissioning of the plant was completed by Honda. The plant was used by the Japanese company to manufacture its Civic hatchbacks. According to a previous report published in the Financial Times the complete decommissioning of the UK plant will likely be done by Honda next spring.
This latest decision by the Japanese company was preceded by the decisions of Japanese electronics companies Sony and Panasonic of moving their headquarters from the UK to the EU while another Japanese firm Hitachi has already halted its nuclear power project in Britain amid Brexit.
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Christopher J. Mitchell

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