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Honda: Swindon

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL13875, tabled on 19 February 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of Honda’s decision to close its factory in Swindon on the wider supply chain in the UK car industry.

Answered on

27 February 2019

This is a concerning time for the 3,500 workers at the Swindon plant and the many thousands of people employed by companies in Honda UK’s supply chain. The Government will come together to provide support for those affected by this decision. A Task Force met for the first time on 20 February, bringing together leaders from local and national government, trade unions, workers from Honda UK, representatives from business groups and local civic leaders.

There are many companies of varying sizes across the UK which supply components to Honda’s operations in Swindon. Steps will be taken to support those companies which are adversely affected by this news. Through the Automotive Council, a collaboration between Government and industry, we work with the supply chain right across the automotive sector, and this will be a prominent part of our discussions, plans and decisions over the weeks ahead.

The Government is determined to ensure that the UK continues to be one of the most competitive locations in the world for automotive and other advanced manufacturing.

Despite Honda’s announcement, the UK automotive industry remains one of our great success stories. Global demand for UK designed, engineered and manufactured vehicles is strong. Several companies have recently committed to investing billions of pounds in the sector. Through our Industrial Strategy and landmark Automotive Sector Deal, we are working with industry to put the UK at the forefront of new automotive technologies to ensure the UK remains the destination of choice for future investment decisions.

Last year the government announced our mission under the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge to put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero emission vehicles and good progress has already been made. Government and industry have committed £1 billion over 10 years to 2023 through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC). Government has committed £246m to the Faraday Battery Challenge, and circa £80m in the last Budget to the Stephenson Challenge, newly named ‘Driving the Electric Revolution’. The Sector Deal also includes up to £32 million of joint funding for an industry-led supply chain competitiveness programme to help grow the UK supply chain and make it internationally competitive.