Honda Suspends Production at UK Plant Due to Transport Delays | Economic news


Honda has suspended production at its UK car plant after transport delays in delivering parts.

The Japanese automaker told workers it is expected to halt work on Wednesday, but will restart as soon as possible.

It comes as logistics officials call on the government to help clear congestion at UK container ports.

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The Honda plant in Swindon, where it manufactures the Civic model, operates on a “just-in-time” basis designed to increase efficiency and avoid stockpiling of parts.

This means that these parts only arrive when they are needed – but also that delivery delays risk delaying production.

The Honda plant, which built more than 100,000 vehicles last year, is already due to permanently close in 2021.

Honda said in a statement that it had “confirmed to employees that production will not operate on Wednesday, December 9 due to delays in transportation-related parts.”

“The situation is currently being monitored with a view to restarting production as quickly as possible,” the company added.

A spokesperson was unable to provide further details when asked about the nature of the delays.

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UK manufacturers – including automotive industry competitors such as Jaguar Land Rover fear that serious disruption caused by a no-deal Brexi could add to the risks of costly production delays in the new year.

Ports have already reported traffic jams in recent weeks, partly caused by companies looking to source goods before the Brexit transition period ends on December 31.

The backlog of personal protective equipment (PPE) needed due to the coronavirus pandemic has also been blamed for the delays seen at Felixstowe last month.

This prompted a warning that consumers may struggle to get their Christmas orders delivered on time this year.

Workers at the Port of Felixstowe had to contend with thousands of containers of PPE taking up storage space
Traffic jams were recently reported at the Port of Felixstowe

On Wednesday, leaders of organizations such as the UK Major Ports Group, the UK Chamber of Shipping and Logistics UK wrote to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps calling on the government to act.

“Even if we hope that the current peak of port congestion has passed, high volumes remain and could persist for a few months, until the end of the European transition,” the letter said.

“Therefore, challenges remain.

“The current situation is partly due to imbalances that have built up over the months.

“Reversing this build-up is not an overnight task. ”

The letter called on the government to provide “reasonable flexibilities and easements” regarding the movement of containers in ports and road transport.


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