Japanese car giant Honda has said it is determined to leave its Swindon plant.

An announcement by the company today said it has not changed its mind to vacate the South Marston works in two years' time, with the loss of 3,500 jobs.

The statement said: "Honda of the UK Manufacturing has today informed associates (employees) that plans to close its Swindon vehicle manufacturing plant, at the end of the current model’s production lifecycle, in 2021, have been confirmed. The plant currently employs circa 3,500 associates.

"Following a meaningful and robust consultation process, which included contributions from collective consultation groups, the UK government and external consultants engaged by UNITE, Honda has reached the conclusion that no viable alternatives to the proposed closure of the Swindon plant have been identified.

"The decision to close the plant is part of Honda’s broader global strategy in response to changes to the automotive industry. As previously communicated in February, Honda is accelerating its electrification plans, and as a result resources, capabilities and production systems for electrified vehicles will be focused in regions with a high volume of customer demand.

"This concludes the first phase of the collective consultation process. The second phase - which includes agreeing associate redundancy packages and identifying the impact on individual roles up until production ceases in 2021 – will begin immediately. Honda will also intensify its engagement with the Swindon Task Force set up by Secretary of State Greg Clark, in order to work with government and a broad range of stakeholders to mitigate the impact of this decision on the wider community."

Director of Honda UK Jason Smith, said; “It is with a heavy heart that today we confirm the closure of Honda’s factory in Swindon. We understand the impact this decision has on our associates, suppliers and the wider community. We are committed to continuing to support them throughout the next phases of the consultation process.”

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