Honda focused on U.S and Asia, ending Turkish, UK car output

11, Apr. 2019

TOKYO, NNA - Honda Motor Co. said it will close its car factory in Turkey in 2021, as planned, following its announcement earlier this year that it was shifting some production to North America and consolidating electrified vehicle output into China and Japan amid sluggish sales in Europe.

Honda Turkiye A.S. said Monday that it had decided to end production of the Civic sedan in 2021 while continuing imports and distribution of the vehicle. The plant in the western province of Kocaeli produces 38,000 units per year with about 1,100 employees.

Three quarters of the passenger cars assembled in Turkey are sold in the domestic market, with the remaining shipped to Europe, Reuters has reported.

In February, Honda said it was restructuring its global manufacturing network, which was likely to lead to auto plant closures in Britain and Turkey.

Honda said it planned to close its vehicle manufacturing plant in Swindon, Britain in 2021. The plant produces 150,000 cars per year and employs about 3,500 people.

“This restructure comes as Honda accelerates its commitment to electrified cars, in response to the unprecedented changes in the global automotive industry,” the company said in a statement issued in February.

“The significant challenges of electrification will see Honda revise its global manufacturing operations, and focus activity in regions where it expects to have high production volumes.”

Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo was quoted in news reports as saying in February that in order to optimize production allocation and capacity on a global scale, the company would produce the Civic for the U.S. and Canada locally.

The company will consolidate production of electrified vehicles into Japan and China, he said.