BCC, Business West & Thames Valley Chambers comment on Honda announcement

Phil Smith
Managing Director | Business West
19th February 2019

Jointly commenting on the Honda announcement relating to the plant in Swindon, Phil Smith, Chief Executive of Business West, Paul Britton, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group, and Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“The automotive industry is a bellwether for UK manufacturing, and has a disproportionate impact on many of our business communities and on our export strength. The planned closure of the Swindon plant will have a major impact across the area, affecting not only many employees on site but also firms and staff across the supply chain.

“Given the size of the operation, there will be a wide and diverse network of regional suppliers that will now be hugely concerned about their future business prospects. Employers, government and local authorities must do all they can to deliver tangible assistance and guidance for the people and communities that will be affected by an announcement of this scale.

“This development highlights the importance of maintaining and attracting investment in local economies. While the automotive industry in general is going through a period of transition, and a number of global factors will have played a major part in a decision of this size, the ongoing Brexit uncertainty and looming threat of no deal is one factor that should have been resolved a long time ago.

“The Accredited Chambers of Commerce network including Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce (Swindon, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire) and Business West (representing communities across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and the West of England) stand ready to help local businesses and staff through the challenges that lie ahead, and continue to do all they can to bolster their local economies.”

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