Start of the decline of mass car manufacturing in the UK? Again.

#1
So after the highs of the last and this decade (peaking in 2016) when the UK recovered a lot from the turmoil of the decline in mass manufacturing of vehicles via investments from overseas companies who wanted to set foot in Europe, looks like it will happen again. Sure, companies like JLR (who are moving some of the production overseas too), and more specialist ones like Lotus, McLaren et al will continue exist and thrive but personally I think this is the start of a very long term decline, maybe worse. I could be wrong, but conditions are changing against the UK and companies are wanting to consolidate, leading to an unfortunate loss of jobs in multiple areas.

Just look at the data, if you now exclude the models and brands going/ intending to go away, there's not much left in terms of volume.

 
#9
I doubt the closure has anything to do with Brexit as it's a Japanese firm

Sky News, where I read the article, merely speculated it was a coincidence the annouced closured came weeks before the eventual Brexit, again I should clarify "speculated".

It also mentioned 80% of the exports from that plant go to the North America and the other fraction going to be EU, perhaps it's simply playing its business cards in the hopes of securing more cost effective manufacturing in Europe, or a UK manufacturing plant isn't needed so much?

Is this the only Honda assembly plant in the UK?

There are assembley plants in the states as well.

The European headquarters are still based in the UK as of writing in Berkshire.

It's not like the blokes are being made redundant immediately but they have warning now at least however obviously hey won't be happy.
 
#10
I doubt the closure has anything to do with Brexit as it's a Japanese firm

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Of course you do. We don't want anything to cloud the vision of a sunlit upland in the Brexit future, do we.

It's not like the blokes are being made redundant immediately but they have warning now at least however obviously hey won't be happy.
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Yep, plenty time for them to find other jobs in all the other car plants in Wiltshire.
 
#11
So, it's only a "British" car if it's handmade by a family-owned firm?
Essentially, in my opinion, yes it looks that way but even they resort to global components.
Wholly UK made engines/trannys like the A & B & C 6-pot series mills are things long in the past.
Jensen Interceptors just as one example which traditionally used big F off GM V8's anyway, are being remanufactured now powered by Corvette.

Even old school RR's & Bentleys had General Motors 6.7 ltr alloy blocks into which RR inserted their blue-printed & balanced magic, and GM slush-boxes calibrated for "British tastes". Many other low volume makers resorted to Furrin' components for decades. TVR in Blackpool did their own mills in certain models...which were fast but very fragile, but also resorted to the GM V8s for others. The Jaguar V12 was for me one of the last outstandingly UK born engines alongside Aston V8's and while these Jags did not have a great name for overall reliability or body longevity, they were Union Jack bumper to bumper.

Typically, the Cobra was born from a British AC chassis & body into which scary small & big block Ford V8...sometimes breathed on by Mr Shelby if you really wanted to die young-ish.
60's era Rover 3.5s' and P5 V8's were/are still General Motors derived American mills, and live on today.

I think the era's of 100% UK mass production dies off in the 80's. Even the last of line Capri2.8i-s etc etc were German...around the same period BL & Vauxhall UK plants were dying off making horrid shitboxes like the Metro & Vivas..and let's not forget the so-called Rovers for the masses with Honda mills.

Come the day, whenever, SWMBO's Mx5 Roadster becomes unviable, it's going to be either a Suzuki Swift Sport Turbo..... or a decent solidly built Kia.
No contest...sums it all up I guess.
 
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#13
Of course you do. We don't want anything to cloud the vision of a sunlit upland in the Brexit future, do we.
I doubt that it has much to do with Brexit. Honda cars are really well made and reliable so you don't need one very often. Also, the roads are full of Kias, Hyundais and those with people doing the math. I believe that the short answer is that they are just not selling enough now.
 
#14
Honda’s European sales are plummeting. Swindon makes the Civic. Demand for small saloons is dying. Swindon makes diesels. Demand for diesels is dying. The EU has just done a trade deal with Japan. No tariffs on Japanese made cars. Potential tariffs on British made cars.

Honda only has two cars that compete in the big market sectors; the CRV and HRV. Neither are competitive with the latest Koreans.

I wonder how much longer Honda will be selling cars in Europe at all.
 
#15
I doubt that it has much to do with Brexit. Honda cars are really well made and reliable so you don't need one very often. Also, the roads are full of Kias, Hyundais and those with people doing the math. I believe that the short answer is that they are just not selling enough now.

Market shares halved in ten years to under 1%
Honda have a huge image problem in the UK/EU market, its seen as an old people brand - the average buyer is 61
 
#16
Still, on the plus side think of the billions we'll save in subsidies.
What subsidies? Are you seriously suggesting Honda would be operating here if it was not profitable? Or at least it was. Remember to that in addition to the jobs at the plant, suppliers and others will also lose business.
 
#17
I'd wait until other major firms start pulling the plug
Vauxhall's plant here is now wobbly, now that PSA to want's consolidate European production of the Astra. Nissan is shaky, again. What else is there left? BMW will probably want to keep the MINI here as they have far too much invested in the plant for far too long and the MINI is as British as it gets. JLR has a plant in Slovakia and has moved some production there, might be sourcing some from India too.

Things, at this moment, aren't really looking great for UK car manufacturing.
 
#18
Self & SWMBO have both previously owned Hondas.

When it came time to chage my FRV, the Honda dealer took the p!ss and also I positively hated the interior of the previous model Civic, and still hate the latest one, as it's made for people with short legs who like living in a coal hole and like Amstrad 1980s stereos.

SWMBO ditched her Jazz partly because of the very limited range of engines 1.3 petrol or ..... 1.3 petrol.

Not helped by the fact that our local friendly dealers were bought out by a faceless conglomerate with consequent dive in service quality.

However, car making world wide is in crisis. US manufacturers are ditching Europe and other markets due to emissions restrictions (e.g.: GM selling off Vauxhall). No-one knows whether to buy a diesel, petrol, hybrid or electric. I know of several people who are putting off buying new cars until the situation settles down.

My oppo in work who would normally have changed his 4 year old Focus TDCI late last year is hanging on as he's not sure what the taxation will be and the possibility of him having to pay a "pollution tax" to drive into his local city [Leeds] is on the immediate horizon.

SWMBO is hanging onto her current Audi until the decision for petrol / diesel becomes clear. She would normally be looking to swap her nearly 6 year old car later this year.

Most electric cars are completely sh!t unless you never do more than 50 miles. Try your Nissan Leaf when it's -5°C outside and you need the heater on. Watch the range meter plummet as soon as you hit the rear screen heater button. Your [alleged] 250 mile range will fall by 1/3 but then factor in that a realistic range for a Leaf is actually 150 miles in proper driving and you will be down to 100 miles range.

Hybrids are stupid money expensive and not that economical as they are dragging round 400kg of extra weight in the battery and electric motor (that's more than 4 average size adults in weight).

Until there is a decent alternative to Petrol/Diesel then the car industry will continue in crisis.
 
#20
It's being emphatically stated in the news that Brexit isn't the cause, and that the company is consolidating all manufacture back in Japan by the early 2020s.

On the other hand, one could wonder about the timing of the EU's trade deal with Japan and the effects on tariffs of cars imported from there... nah, they wouldn't be that spiteful.

But the whole of the car industry is in tumult. Electrification is coming, and that's going to be a BIG shift. Frankly (and I've spoken candidly so some people from of the big companies), some of them are bricking it. Between the change in powertrains and shifts in ownership habits (such as vehicle sharing, rather than owning), the market is going to change radically. VW, for instance, already operates shared-vehicle schemes in such as Berlin. These are essentially upmarket taxis, van-type buses in fact, and you don't drive yourself.

The emphasis is moving to service provision and away from platform ownership. The big companies know it, they're just not saying it out loud yet. Instead, they're positioning for when the tipping-point occurs.
 

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