Honda Shuts Up Shop to Survive

Sad stuff this. Honda are closing up their Swindon plant for four months once today’s shifts are over. Staff will get their basic pay for the first two months but an estimated 60% of it for the rest of the shutdown.

Yes, this is all in response to the economical crisis and downturn in the car market – not just in the UK, it’s worldwide. Honda have said that global third quarter profit was down 89%.

The philanthropist in me wants to run down my local dealer and encourage everyone to buy up a load of new Honda Civics but I have to re-look at that last point: “profit was down.” So they’re still making a profit.

Loads of car manufacturers – including the once infallible Toyota – posted losses. Honda made a profit. Don’t get me wrong – I’m extremely sympathetic to those staff that won’t be working during the shut down but it seems more a case of a manufacturer doing what we should all do – tightening belts to get through.

The union are saying that staff – while still being paid – are cutting their expenses… “others will take a second mobile phone back  or will take holidays in the UK instead of abroad.”

These are things that should’ve been done anyway regardless of employer. I’m doing that anyway and a friend of mine – who was made redundant and not being paid – can barely afford rent and one mobile phone let alone a second.

To me this is simply a case of Honda doing what it needs to do to ensure long-term survival and the more businesses look at long-term, post-recession plans the better. The more we focus on the negative the more we’ll speculate and continue the downward cycle. Let’s see how the media continue to spin this one!

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