Tokyo - Honda announced on Tuesday that it would shut its sole British plant by 2021, a decision the Japanese carmaker said was not related to Brexit but which Britain deemed deeply disappointing.
Honda, which said the decision was based on changes in the global vehicle market, will also stop making its popular Civic sedan at its plant in Turkey from 2021, although it plans to continue its operations in that country, Chief Executive Takahiro Hachigo told a news conference in Tokyo.
The closure of the Swindon factory in southern England is expected to result in 3500 job losses and marks a big symbolic blow to British manufacturing amid the tumult of Brexit. The plant closure will be one of several by carmakers reassessing their presence in the UK and Europe.
Hachigo's comments that the decision was not related to Brexit are unlikely to take the sting out of the job losses for the British public, or politicians.
"It is deeply disappointing that this decision has been taken now," UK Business Secretary Greg Clark said.