The job market in the UK is already pretty weak. Tons of people across the whole country are still looking for jobs. Unfortunately, some 800 more people are going to be added to that list. This news came to light after Honda announced that it would be forced to cut 800 UK jobs thanks to weak demand for cars across Europe. They want to make this transition as easy as possible, but they don’t believe that 800 people will be willing to give up their jobs.
According to Honda, they plan to cut 800 jobs from their Swindon car plant. At the time of this writing, the plant employed close to 3,500 people. Now, thanks to weak demand across Europe, Honda says it has no choice but to cut jobs. This was an unexpected move since this Japanese carmaker has been manufacturing cars in the UK since 1992. During this time they have never had to lay off so many people. However, the Eurozone crisis has hit Honda hard, just like many other car manufactures.
Of course, there were other reasons why this cutback was unforeseen. Just a year ago, this plant added close to 500 employees to its workforce. So now seeing the company to cut back by nearly 800 employees in less than a year is pretty shocking to say the least. Until now, the Swindon plant had been pretty popular. This has a lot to do with the car models the plant makes: Jazz, CR-V and Civic. These are usually pretty big sellers in Europe.
The good news is, all of these cuts won’t be made all at once. In fact, Honda has begun a 90-day consultation period. They hope they can avoid making compulsory redundancies. However, they feel that it is unlikely that 800 workers will come forward and volunteer to give up their jobs. This would leave the company with the painful task of choosing 800 people to cut.
In a recent statement, Honda said that the sustained conditions of very low demand across all of the European market have made it hard on the company. It is because of this that Honda is forced to now restructure its business by letting 800 workers go. In fact, demand has fallen by one million units in just the past year. Instead of giving up on the European market altogether, the company wants to simply scale back manufacturing in Europe. This does mean that other plants may soon be forced to cut works too.
Reports show that the Swindon plant had actually built close to 166,000 cars in 2012 alone. Despite this high number, the plant is capable of producing close to 250,000 cars a year. Either way, experts had assumed that worker jobs were safe at Swindon, because their numbers had improved from the 97,000 cars that were produced in 2011. This means the plant actually saw 97,000 more cars produced between 2011 and 2012. It was likely that Honda was hoping that the plant would reach its 2008 level of 230,000 cars produced, but demand was simply too low.