Honda pledges to remain in Britain despite Brexit jitters
HONDA has promised to keep making and selling cars in its Swindon factory despite the raft of uncertainties facing the economy over Brexit and a hammering of profits at the plant.
The Japanese car giant has sounded a bullish outlook on its future in the country despite seeing profits in its UK subsidiary fall 21pc for the year to March 31, partly down to the recent slump in the pound.
That stands in stark contrast with its European arm, which in the coming days is due to unveil a profit surge of more than 100pc for the same period amid increased sales volumes, exports to the US and the strengthening of the euro against sterling.
However, the group said it remains “committed” to its manufacturing and sales activity in the UK, pointing to the £200m pumped into the factory last year as proof.
That investment, which made the factory Honda’s global hub for the new five-door Civic, means the site is exporting cars “to different global territories and is no longer solely reliant on the European market”, it said.
The Japanese group has put £2.2bn into its Wiltshire base since it first opened the branch in 1985, with the plant seeing production volumes surge 30pc in the year to March as a result of making the Civic five-door.
Its renewed commitment to the UK will come as a relief to many. In July, car sales fell 9.3pc compared to the same month a year ago. Sales have now fallen for six consecutive months.
A Honda spokesman said it would urge the government to continue dialogue with the EU “to deliver a free and frictionless trading environment. This is central to our continued success in the European region as a whole”.