Honda has announced the loss of 800 jobs at its Swindon car plant, blaming weak European demand for the move.
The shock move follows on from last year’s recruitment drive that saw the firm add 500 workers at the Wiltshire site as it geared up for an expected grow in exports.
Ken Keir, executive vice-president of Honda’s European team, however reaffirmed the company’s commitment to its UK and European manufacturing operations.
“These conditions of sustained low industry demand require us to take difficult decisions,” said Keir. “We are setting the business constitution at the right level to ensure long-term stability and security.”
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) called the news disappointing. “The decline in European new car markets and uncertain growth prospects has forced a number of vehicle manufacturers to restructure their operations,” the organisation said in a statement.