The latest temporary closure of Honda’s Swindon plant because of parts shortages could be the “tip of the iceberg” for new car supply issues in 2021, the Vehicle Remarketing Association is warning. Chair Philip Nothard said that the problem, believed to be caused by poor availability of semiconductors, was potentially a sign of things to come from all manufacturers.
Honda will next week pause car production at its factory in Swindon; the third time it has done so in a little over a month. The Japanese car manufacturer said in a statement that output would be paused from Monday to Thursday next week, the longest such pause so far. It said that global supply disruption as a result of the coronavirus pandemic was responsible for the pause.
After weeks and months of mounting pressure on UK ports, the automotive industry is showing visible signs of strain. Specifically, Honda UK has halted manufacturing at its Swindon factory because it can’t get the right parts in-time to continue production. General UK tyre supply is likely to be impacted too.
Following media reports the day before, on 19 February Honda confirmed it will close its Swindon car manufacturing facility with the loss of around 3500 jobs. According to Honda, the closure forms part of wider global restructuring plans. Honda also said the news comes as the Japanese firm “accelerates its commitment to electrified cars, in response to the unprecedented changes in the global automotive industry”.
Cooper Tire Europe has opened a new 211,000sqft UK warehouse, with the capacity to store 400,000 tyres, in Swindon. Cooper stores Cooper and Avon brand tyres at the Spectrum Building, with the new facility already being fully operational. The Spectrum Building, designed by British architect Norman Foster, first opened in 1982 and was used as a backdrop in the James Bond film A View To A Kill in 1984.