Currently reading: Honda finds buyer for Swindon car plant
Japanese firm will end Civic production at sole UK factory in July; industrial development firm commits to renovation of site
James Attwood, digital editor
News
2 mins read
26 March 2021

Honda will sell its Swindon car plant, which is due to close in July, to industrial logistics firm Panattoni.

The Japanese firm decided in 2019 to shut its sole UK factory, which houses production for the Civic hatchback, and has been actively seeking a buyer since then.

There had been suggestions that the site could be sold to another car firm – with Swindon councillors even lobbying Elon Musk for Tesla to buy the site – but it now seems unlikely the site will continue to be used for automotive production.

Panattoni is one of the largest developers of industrial and logistics facilities in Europe and has committed to investing more than £700 million into redeveloping the site to attract new businesses. It will work with Swindon Borough Countil on the regeneration project.

Civic production will end at the plant in July, after which Honda will begin a decommissioning process at the site, before handing it over to Panattoni in early 2022. Manufacturing equipment from the site will shortly start to be sold off through an online auction.

Honda of the UK Manufacturing director Jason Smith said the firm is “pleased to have identified a capable new owner of the site” that will “generate exciting prospects for Swindon and the wider community”.

Honda says it is committed to leaving a “positive legacy” in the local community and is currently assessing opportunities for a few small sections of the site not required by Panattoni.

Honda opened its Swindon plant in 1985, on a site previously used for aircraft and train production. Car production began there in 1989. As well as the Civic, the Accord, Jazz and CR-V models have previously been built there. Around 3400 people worked at the site.

READ MORE

Honda confirms Swindon factory to close

The Swindon factory closure: how Honda got Europe so wrong

Opinion: why Honda is shutting its Swindon factory

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RayCee 23 April 2021

I have to say that after spending some time studying the UK car market that scotty5 is spot on with his assessments.

nimmler 27 March 2021

We have gone from stable full time £30k+ a year jobs to zero hour contract minumum wage amazon fulfilment slaves who are going to earn 50%(more if you include loss of private healthcare , subsidized lease on a new civic etc) of the wages that Honda workers did and people are tying to spin this as a brexit success story? I guess it is a huge success for the top 1% who will only make more profits whilst the plebs effectively get poorer?!

jason_recliner 28 March 2021
nimmler wrote:

We have gone from stable full time £30k+ a year jobs to zero hour contract minumum wage amazon fulfilment slaves who are going to earn 50%(more if you include loss of private healthcare , subsidized lease on a new civic etc) of the wages that Honda workers did and people are tying to spin this as a brexit success story? I guess it is a huge success for the top 1% who will only make more profits whilst the plebs effectively get poorer?!

Rimmler!

The Colonel 27 March 2021

Panattoni are first and foremost a speculative developer.  There's nothing in the report above, or their own announcement, that suggests there is a tenant or future owner in the offing.  Despite all the cuddly words about an exciting legacy and community prospects, somehting will only happen if there's a commercial end to the site for Panattoni (they are, actually, very good at what they do, but that's because they are also very commercially driven).  There's a long way to go before any commitment, firm or otherwise, realises anything.

At least SBC do not seem to be getting themselves on the hook for something, unlike what is happening in Ebbw Vale.