Honda: This is Not a Brexit-Related Issue

Honda’s most senior executive in Europe was interviewed on the Today Programme to explain Honda’s decision to close its Swindon plant. Honda could not have been clearer: “This is not a Brexit-related issue for us.”

At a time when poorly-performing companies like Flybmi are only too keen to blame Brexit to cover up for their own business failings, Honda’s decision to explicitly rule out Brexit as a factor is particularly notable. Naturally this has not stopped many Remainers from spitefully gloating over the demise of thousands of jobs in their desperate pursuit of an ill-informed ‘told-you-so’ moment…

What Honda did blame were the seismic shifts in the automobile industry in recent years, particularly the sudden move towards electrification, fuelled by the diesel scandal and generally poor demand. Turkey is also facing the closure of its Honda plant – despite being in a customs union with the EU…

What has also been a major factor is the new EU-Japan trade deal, which removes a major incentive for Japanese car makes to manufacture in Europe as they will soon be able to export cars tariff-free directly from Japan. So much for the supposedly sacrosanct importance of geographic proximity in trade…

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