Honda has officially announced it will close its British manufacturing plant in Swindon where it builds Civic Type Rs and employs 3500 people.
The decision will reportedly affect 7000 British jobs, once supplier networks are counted, when operations close at the end of the current model’s lifecycle in 2021.
But since the news broke last night Stephen Collins, Honda Australia’s Director, has clarified its impact for Australian Type R enthusiasts and indirectly confirmed a successor.
“There are no changes that impact Honda Australia or our customers,” he said, “we will continue to take the Civic Type R from Europe throughout the current model’s production lifecycle and we intend for the next generation model to also have a home in Australia.”
As for where Type R production heads, Honda says the next generation Civic will be produced in America and “other regions”. Europe and the US are currently the largest markets for the Civic, our regular variant is currently built in Thailand.
The news is welcome after the Japanese car maker announced the news as part of a “global restructuring” last night, citing “unprecedented” changes in the global industry and a new commitment to electrification as key motives behind the decision.
MOTOR opinion: Give the Civic Type R a chance
Expectedly, Brexit’s effect on the decision is being closely analysed. But Ian Howells, Honda Europe’s Senior Vice President, is quoted saying this has not been a “Brexit-related issue”.
The Swindon plant builds around 150,000 units Civic Hatchbacks for global markets per year, along with the current and previous model Civic Type R.
Honda also has said it will close its Turkey plant that builds around 38,000 Civic sedans each year, axing another 1100 jobs.
Australians have bought 900 Civic Type Rs in total since its launch in September 2017, or about 7 per cent of sales in total.