London: Japanese carmaker Honda announced on Tuesday that it was closing its only manufacturing unit in the European Union (EU) that employs 3,500 people.
Honda has made more than 3 million cars in the plant located in the English town of Swindon since it opened three decades ago. The factory currently makes the Honda Civic and is capable of producing as many as 150,000 of the cars a year, CNN reported.
It will close in 2021 under the plan Honda announced on Tuesday.
Vehicles made in the Swindon factory are exported to more than 70 countries.
The restructuring will also involve Honda’s operations in Turkey, which currently produce 38,000 Civic sedans per year. That will cease in 2021.
“In light of the unprecedented changes that are affecting our industry, it is vital that we accelerate our electrification strategy and restructure our global operations accordingly,” Honda Motor Europe President Katsushi Inoue said in a statement.
The statement however, made no mention of Brexit. Britain is slated to leave the EU on March 29.
Japan’s Nissan earlier this month scrapped plans to build its new X-Trail SUV at its factory in the English city of Sunderland. It cited uncertainty over Brexit as one reason for the decision.
BMW said it would close its Mini factory in England for one month for maintenance immediately after Brexit.