Coffee House

Honda job losses should be put in perspective

11 January 2013

News of 800 job losses at Honda’s Swindon factory are making the headlines — factory closures always do. They can leave scars that never quite heal, and for those affected it will be no comfort at all to know that there are today more people working in the UK economy than ever before. But it’s true.

As the below graph shows, the British economy is not actually shedding jobs at a particularly high rate. Even during the boom years, there were about 1,500 redundancies every day. What mattered was that the number of jobs created was greater. But there is an in-built new bias, because the jobs created tend to happen on a far smaller level and don’t make headlines. Factory closures do.


What matters is that, since the general election, jobs have been created at a faster rate than people have been laid off. The below graph tells the story:

So what’s happening at the moment? According to the latest figures, around 1,400 jobs are being lost every day, but 1,900 new ones are being created.

While there is plenty to be concerned about in today’s economy — the NIESR estimates there was no GDP growth last year — employment is holding up relatively well. The number of people in work has risen by half a million in the last year, and is now at a record high. That’s thanks to private sector job growth far out-stripping public sector cuts. (And while more people are working part-time, the total number of hours worked in Britain is as high as it was at the peak of the boom.) The recovery in employment has been really quite remarkable:-

And, as Jonathan has pointed out, more people left the UK for work last year than moved here for it. So yes, the economy is pretty stagnant. Yes, George Osborne is making dismal progress on the deficit. But for reasons that economists still can’t quite work out, the UK economy is still creating jobs at a faster rate than they are being shed. And that’s what matters.

UPDATE: Jaguar has today (Sunday) said it intends to create 800 more jobs at its Solihull factory to sate demand from China and Russia.

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  • Sushma Gupta

    Informative blog for me. This contains a lot of useful information’s. Keep sharing.

  • Its_not_craig

    Fraser – you’re better than this. Is this what you’re reduced to – finding ever-more desperate ways to deflect bullets from your beloved place-men in Downing Street?
    Make no mistake – the Honda job losses are a sign of the catastrophic way our economy is being mismanaged. They were real, full-time jobs that paid well and resulted in high productivity. They added to GDP by giving communities spending power.
    The jobs you so bafflingly cheer being created by this atrocious government are temporary, part-time and a sign of firms cutting back as far as possible on employee expenditure. You reference that ‘hours worked is as high as the boom years’ (a point I find hard to believe and would dearly like to see your reference) yet miss the point that part-time wages are far, far lower. This results in under-employed families who limit spending and hold back an already crippled economy.

    At some point, you and the Spectator will have to face up to the fact that this government is destroying the economy in ways Brown and co didn’t even get close to.

  • Jebediah

    News is asymmetric: Bad news grabs headlines, good news is largely ignored or gets a lower ranking.

    Also where it’s from changes its prominence. Remember the coverage for the US “superstorm”? Killed around 80 people. A terrible thing. Remember the coverage of the storm in the Philippines, it killed over 1,000 people… it had about a twentieth of the air time.

  • Kubrickguy

    It’s because the Conservatives lowered tax rates unlike Socialist France. It’s Classic Cowperthwaite

  • Tom Tom

    Did I miss something ? Honda is NOT closing its factory. It is shedding labour – 800 jobs from 3500. Some of these will be contract workers and part-timers. Demand for cars has collapsed in Spain and Southern Europe funnily enough. How many SEAT workers and VW/Ford Workers are being furloughed in Spain ? This has everything to do with Banks being rescued at the expense of the wider economy. It is how the second and third stages of the Bank Rescue work – by collapsing the REAL Economy. Now go look at the EU Case between BAFin in Germany and Unicredit in Italy over HVB and German refusal to allow the parent to transfer capital from Germany to Italy….and think what happens if Santander were able to transfer capital from the UK to Spain ? This problem is far far bigger than a few car workers in Swindon…..what was missed in 2008 was the chance to nip this problem in the bud before the Black Hole grew to infinite proportions

    • Dimoto

      Yes, you are missing something.
      Honda make superior, beautifully engineered cars, with a very loyal customer base, which have tended to just glide through crises, with minimal disruption.
      This is, of course, a bugger of a crisis, but to announce a major expansion, then lay off hundreds of skilled workers a few months later, points to something wrong within the company.

      • TomTom

        Honda has been in big trouble before – it was part of the Mitsubishi keiretsu and almost swallowed when it hit turbulence last. They are not superb cars and change styling too often and have so real dogs on sale at present

    • Span Ows

      “…what was missed in 2008 was the chance to nip this problem in the bud before the Black Hole grew to infinite proportions.”

      Quite so although don’t expect to read/hear it in the UK media (especially BBC)

  • MirthaTidville

    `Put into perspective`…Try telling that to the families of the 800 whose jobs, hopes, ambitions and aspirations have been wrecked and destroyed…….

  • terence patrick hewett

    Just a symptom of over-capacity in the car industry. When electric drives replace the internal combustion engine (and it won’t be long now; wireless charging,automated driving and EV racing) the major players will be reduced to bodywork suppliers and assembly; then they will be vulnerable to all sorts of new producers slashing prices to levels which they cannot sustain. Some producers will survive but they will have to diversify: most will not.

    • Dimoto

      This is the utter tosh peddled by journalists and under-pressure execs of less competitive marques.
      In markets with highly differentiated products, “industry overcapacity” is a meaningless concept – cars are not crude oil.
      Morgan has a years long waiting list – should they cut production to help out with industry “overcapacity” ?
      Peugeot-Citroen and Opel have “overcapacity”.

      • TomTom

        Morgan isn’t a car company – it is an assembler buying in engines and gearboxes. Industry overcapacity is a term reflecting the common platforms of most cars nowadays which means differentiation is only bodyshell and financing is key to shifting metal. We are back to banking and credit rather than defined need for the product. Most car manufacturers offer 0% finance to offload product because they cannot afford price wars as oligopolists

      • terence patrick hewett

        I am a professional engineer: it’s not tosh. EV racing is about to become reality. Electric drives far outstrip internal combustion engine performance delivering near instantaneous maximum torque: speeds of 0-60 in 4 seconds is easily achieved. Inductive charging is a reality. Driverless car technology under any driving conditions is in place. Battery technology is now up to 500 miles and rising. Prices are going down; just like everything does: automobiles are no exception. Once the engine-gearbox is replaced major manufacturers are simply the purveyors of bodywork design; everything else is bought out from specialist manufacturers. History is littered with large companies like ICI, Lucas, IBM, Pan Am, TWA and GEC who either vanished, split and sold or diversified.

        Artificial Intelligence is about to sunder the link between economic growth and jobs and the relatively inexhaustible supply of ever cheaper computing power will have profound effects upon the order of society; certainly within the lifetime of our children.The word “machine” covers a whole host of devices. Currently an enormous part of our life is now controlled by mathematical algorithms once set in motion, chunter on until they reach their conclusion. These systems and devices remove whole swathes of functions completely. Some time ago I attended the Turing Lecture given by Professor Christopher Bishop under the auspices of the IET/BCS. It concerned recent developments in probabilistic modelling; the greatly expanded variety and scale of machine learning applications, and the future potential for this technology. Just about every industry was present except the people whom AI will affect the most: those of government and trade unions. These are not the fulminations from the overheated brain of a techno-nerd; these technologies and proto-technologies are already in place here, now. Advances in computing, quantum computing, materials, nanotechnology, biotechnology and cognitive science will change the world in ways we cannot hope to predict. But what we have to appreciate is that devices inspired by artificial intelligence are not intelligent in the sense that they are sentient beings; they have no moral sense and no real intelligence; it just appears that they have these qualities.
        As a country we can no longer afford to view the future as a place that can look after itself: if we do then the future will devour us.

  • David Julian Price

    A good well researched article Fraser, just as we’d expect from you!

    The sad thing is though that we’re all drifting from full time ‘stable’ jobs to part timers and/or freelancers – which, on a mass scale, isn’t good for the economy (less money swishing around) or the government (ditto tax). Suits employers, though…

    Still, better some jobs than none, and there’s a good chance when things kick off again (2014?), then some of these part timers will go full time again.

    • Tom Tom

      Ah you journalists…..what do you make ? There is a real question as to whether Journalism is a business or a hobby, it produced little economic output yet is highly remunerated despite rapidly declining audiences

      • Dimoto

        Aren’t journalistic pay-rates in relentless decline ?
        Thus, the semi-literate, often unreadable, articles written by not-so-bright young things, infesting all the prints.

        • TomTom

          I don’t think David Julian Price falls into that category Dimoto nor does Fraser nor does Boris Johnson

      • HooksLaw

        Emigrate to another planet where the world can be run to the rule of Tom Tom. meantime the world (thats the bit beyond our shores you wish would go away) is how it is.

        • TomTom

          Stick around Hook’s Law, this country will improve markedly when I run it……

  • davey12

    From the production line to Greggs.

    Fraser, when to say nothing is a skill.

  • Dogsnob

    I have to say this for you Fraser, your graphs make it look as if you really know what the fuck is going on.

    • Maidmarrion


  • Daniel Maris

    You poor wee naive creature.

    Firstly a lot of these new “jobs” are nothing like the jobs at Honda that have been lost. They are part time, zero hours, minimum pay, job centre supported, or borderline self-employment.

    Secondly, look at the way that graph is going. Robotisation is just beginning to bite. We are seeing jobs in the high street being replaced by automated pickers in the internet retailer warehouses. We have already seen lots of checkout jobs go to self-check out.

    The robotisation/self-operated revolution is really going to destroy millions of jobs. Just wait till long distance driverless lorries are allowed on the motorways and major roads – there are 300,000 HGV drivers.

    And that’s just the beginning…

    • Nkaplan

      It really is quite depressing that some people’s understanding of economics seems not to have advanced beyond that of the luddites.

      There are of course deep problems with the UK economy, and replacing full time work with part time work is very far from ideal (and cannot count as an improvement), nonetheless, to think increased mechanisation or ‘robotisation’ is an economic bad is, if not patently ridiculous, at least latently so.

      Mechanisation in industry A makes that industry more efficient i.e. the same output can be produced with less input. The effect of this is to free up resources that can (and will be) spent elsewhere in industry B. As B grows employment shifts from A to B, while for the same resources used we get the same output from A at cheaper prices and new output from B, thereby making us all better off.

      The process by which this occurs is, sadly, not obvious to most, but it is the process by which mankind has been lifted out of grinding poverty the world over.

      • Daniel Maris


        It is really quite depressing how some people are locked in the economics of the last 100 years. What lies ahead will be a lot of dislocation.

        For one thing the shelf stackers, check out staff, warehouse people and so on are not able to bound into service jobs paid for by the technical advances. What exactly do you think they are going to become? Aromatherapists? Window salespeople? What exactly? These are low skilled people with generally low educational attainment.

        In the past we had people with a lot of potential moving from working class backgrounds into the new financial sector, expanding civil service and local government etc. but that was when those sectors were sucking out the brightest and best from the working class through grammar schools and comprehensives offering a full range of academic subjects.

        But all those sectors are shrinking and these people in any case don’t have the sorts of skills to move up into that much more complex work.

        You have an ahistorical approach to economics. If you knew anything about economics, you would know that underemployment has more often been the pattern of economic activity – the inability to find work for the available labour. This was the classic situation in the pre-industrial period in agricultural areas.

        There is no divine law that says underemployment cannot again become the prevailing pattern . There are very clear factors explaining why we are moving into this pattern.

        I think there are solutions – most obviously decoupling ourselves from free trade dogma and reducing the working week in a co-ordinated way – but there is no sign that the present political-economic system is up to the task.

        • Tom Tom

          The British Economy has had major under-employment since 1921 when Bank Rate was raised to control inflation. Massive over-capacity caused by War in Textiles, Coal, Shiplbuilding, Cotton had to be rationalised interwar – then expanded again for another War….then nationalised to provide Capital for investment and ratinalisation. The loss of cheap energy after 1973 meant the Public Sector expanded to boost employment and North Sea Oil facilitated yet more expansion in direct and indirect public sector employment as economic ativity was switched from Manufacturing to Financing and Trading

          • Daniel Maris

            I’d make a few points:

            1. I distinguish between UK citizens and non UK citizens. The position on citizens regarding unemployment is far worse than for non-UK citizens. I am not particularly interested if a Spanish citizen has been able to get a job in a coffee bar in London.

            2. We have moved into welfare plus – where the state is in effect providing top up subsidies to get people into employment of some time.

            3. Survey shows that the number of people not in FTE who want to be is growing fast.

            • Nkaplan

              Although you may not be interested in non UK citizens getting jobs in the UK, you cannot simply ignore them. Even if they are taking up all the new jobs it still shows that new jobs are available which would run counter to your argument that mechanisation is bad for the number of available jobs.

              This is not to say that the fact that such jobs are going to non-UK citizens is not a problem, only that it is a social rather than an economic one.

        • Nkaplan

          I never said that ‘underemployment’ (I shall presume this just means increased unemployment) cannot or will not increase, nor that there is a divine law that says it will not become the prevailing pattern. I merely said that mechanisation is NOT an economic bad, and is not the thing that will be primarily responsible for that increase in unemployment (which will have much more to do with government intervention in the economy and the concomitant unwieldy employment regulations, too high taxes, misallocation of resources and slow growth) as, in the long term, mechanisation leads to economic growth.

          In fact I regard increased long term unemployment as a dangerous possibility which is made more likely if we fail to understand how an economy grows. ‘Decoupling ourselves from free trade’ as a means of increasing employment is almost certainly one such misunderstanding, and you’d struggle to find a single professional (non-marxist) economist who’d say otherwise.

          I’m also slightly confused by your suggestion that we decrease the working week. This does not seem to sit very well with your earlier complaint about increased part time work as a faux solution to unemployment.

          There is evidently a problem when employment shifts from one sector of the economy to another in that, as you say, it isn’t always easy to shift to an entirely new career for which you have the wrong skill set. I did not deny this. If people had a greater understanding of how economic growth actually occurs, perhaps fewer would demand government subsidies for failing industries and instead ask to have that money spent on training workers to make the transition from one kind of work to another.

          I fail to see the relevance of the ‘pre-industrial’ (i.e. basically semi-feudal) employment situation, aside from the fact that, as the state takes control over larger aspects of the economy, or if it abolishes free trade as per your suggestion, we might be heading more and more in that sort of direction.

          • Daniel Maris

            I never said mechanisation was an economic “bad” – but you still lectured me on my alleged ignorance.

            The pattern we are now seeing is underemployment – a systemic weakness in the system that means millions are not finding useful full time work not the unemployment of full time workers traditionally seen in an economic downturn.

            I think you fail to see the relevance of the pre-industrial era because you think the future will be like the recent past.

            I don’t think underemployment is inevitable in an absolute sense but it is certainly inevitable under the sort of international and national system we have now.

            The inequalities we are witnessing in this country now are reaching absurd levels. As far as the richest 20% are concerned they are quite happy to carry on with cheap imported goods, cheap domestic labour imported from abroad and free movement of labour to support the firms, primarily in the financial sector, that generate their wealth – whilst turning the screw on welfare, continuing with the corrupt system of remuneration committees, fixing internships their kids into positions to take over from them to the exclusion of others, and giving up on the rest of the country except to the extent they can pose as philanthropists.

            The protests will begin soon as the wave of immiseration starts to suck down the lower middle class.

            • Nkaplan

              Apologies if I adopted a lecturing tone, I did not mean to condescend or offend. However there are notable comparisons between your view of the effect of mechanisation and that of the luddites whom time has shown to be deeply mistaken.

              You may not have said directly that you think that mechanisation is an economic bad, but your repeated association of it with underemployment strongly suggests that you view it as such. I note that you still haven’t said that it is not an economic bad, but have merely denied having said that it is. Do you think it bad or good, and if the latter why?

              Not being a prophet I have no idea whether the future will resemble the recent past, but am fairly certain that, aside from the state acting increasingly like a feudal lord, it will not much resemble our feudal past.

              I don’t agree that underemployment and increased unemployment is a necessity under our current economic system, but do agree that it is a danger. However, my reasons for thinking this are probably very different to yours relating to sluggish growth brought about by foolish intervention in the economy by the government. The problem would be, as it was during the great depression, greatly exacerbated by any foolish attempt to prevent free trade.

              I do not care about inequality, it is an envy motivated socialist distraction from real problems, and has only a tenuous link with proper concerns about reducing poverty (best done through broadly free market capitalism with safety-net welfare as and when affordable). Your view of what the top 20% are doing/ have done mistakenly assumes a far greater degree of control over an economic system than is possible to exert, a greater homogeneity of purpose among such a broad group than is rational to expect, and a larger degree of malevolence than is charitable to suppose. Frankly it makes you sound a little like a conspiracy theorist, or, what is not much better, a member of the occupy movement.

              That you refer to ‘immiseration’ strongly suggests that you have drunk deep from the well of Marxist economics, a view somewhat ironically falsified by the test of history. The long term trend for wages (or at least purchasing power) has been dramatic increases since the 1840s (i.e. when Marx wrote) as capitalism has caused rising living standards for all. The dangers I foresee for it continuing to do so come mainly from the mistaken ‘economics’ you recommend.

      • Tom Tom

        The most intensive use of robotics is in Aerospace and Automotive, VW even owns KUKA and Ford lines in Cologne were automated yonks ago with HDTV systems in the paint shop so Dearborn could check paint quality and finish. The costs of Camcorders did not drop until the lines became fully automated. The problem is not automation but Government Overheads imposed on Labour Cost. The allocation of Costs to Labour is a very old principle of Cost Accounting latterly replaced by ABC but Government levies taxes that fall on labour and has an ever-exopanding appetite…………it was always a question of whether a Briton should pay for 6 weeks paid vacation and other benefits for a VW Worker making a Golf or buy a Skoda Octavia from the same company where the Czech Worker earns much less and costs much much less…….for what is essentially the same car…………..Labour is far too expensive because of Social Costs

        • Tom Tom

          oh, and btw. Aerospace has the highest Productivity which is why countries with big Aerospace sectors show higher average Productivity than those without

        • Nkaplan

          Completely agree.

  • ButcombeMan

    I looked at buying a Honda, I like their engineering. I like the fact that I would be supporting UK industry.

    It did not have a spare wheel.

    No spare wheel, no purchase.

    • David Julian Price

      Most new cars come with space savers or cans of tyre foam, so you shouldn’t let that put you off. Proper spare wheels are optional and you could always have a go at negotiating a free one with your dealer.

      Hondas are superb cars – their engines are state of the art, the reliability brilliant, way ahead of the German so-called ‘prestige’ brands. Their motorbikes are even more amazing; I’ve had nearly fifty of them!

      The UK new car market is pretty buoyant – this bad news is a response to the disaster that is the Eurozone; sales down about 8% last year I believe. So much for all that prosperity the Euro was going to bring everyone…

      • ButcombeMan

        Most of what you say is correct but a 4 by 4 without a full size spare wheel is a contradiction in the terms of what is expected by a customer.

        Honda have messed up.

        They need to get a grip. Currently, they deserve to fail.

        Their CRV sales will continue to decline until they grip this. Hyundai and Kia provide vehicles as good in almost every way, but properly equipped.

        • HooksLaw

          You did not say 4×4 in your original post. ‘Honest John’ points out a spacesaver can be specified.

          A full sized wheel seems to be an option.

          The business of a friend of mine was forced to change their 4×4 supplier when the Discovery changed from carrying its spare from outside to underneath the boot floor since they also needed to tow trailers and carry huge amounts of equipment. they were this impractical.

      • Tom Tom

        UK cars are bought by companies and that is an oddity in Europe. Hondas are not cheap to repair. No spare wheel is extra margin for the car manufacturer

        • Dimoto

          My (long) experience, says that (i) Hondas are not expensive to repair (compare with extortionate BMW for e.g.), (ii) they very rarely need repair.

      • ButcombeMan

        I agree with everything you say about Honda engineering. Far superior to German, especially VW and Merc.

        Space savers and foam are no substitute. It does put me and countless others off.

        I can imagine losing a tyre on a wet Sunday night crossing northern France to make the ferry, or losing a tyre in the Scottish highlands.

        No thanks. Honda have lost the plot.

    • Dimoto

      Despite the fact that Honda sales in the UK are still increasing, they have seriously
      lost the plot in recent years.
      The European model range is now so restricted that they must be considered a boutique manufacturer rather than a volume producer. The USA and China (that is going well, isn’t it ?) are their obsession.
      Even though Japan and Britain both drive on the left, they seem incapable/unwilling to transfer their Japanese model range to the UK.
      And they keep bringing out freakily bad updates, and “whimsy” vehicles – see the bizarre nonsense known as the FRV (now hastily discontinued), and the two (or is it three ?) non-selling hybrids.
      It is a deep frustration to the Honda customer base.
      I’m thinking of going German.

      • HooksLaw

        The FRV was discontinued back in 2009. It ran for several years but its sales were low. The market does not seem to want 3-abreast front seating. Its likely to be replaced by something more conventional called the ‘Skydeck’. what would be nice is that it would be built in the UK and not some far flung part of the EU (what is the UKIP policy oin this?)

        There is nothing particularly wrong with Honda’s model range, the Jazz Civic and CR-V are good cars, though the new CR-V seems to be getting too big and expensive compared to Korean opposition.

        • Dimoto

          Why are you asking me about UKIP ?

          Compare the Honda range to Hyundai (rapidly becoming their main competitor).
          The Honda Stream (still being made in splendid updated versions in Japan), was discontinued in Europe, leaving the UK market to that poor rip-off (but highly successful), the Ford C-max.

          The UK market was offered the two (zero residual value), hybrids.
          As for the CRV, it is trying (badly) to fill two niches at the same time.
          It is pretty obvious that Honda pay no attention to the views of their local subsidiaries/dealerships.
          Perhaps they still don’t trust Brits after the Rover jv debacle.

    • Vindice

      does it have run-flat tires? If so, is a spare wheel still necessary?

    • MirthaTidville

      Then you wont be buying any new car unless you pay extra….They are all like that now

      • ButcombeMan

        They are not. That is a myth and it is not just the absence of a full size wheel, it is a place to put one even if you pay extra.

        Land Rover, Kia & Hyundai 4 by 4s are not put out without full size spare wheels. Maybe Toyota, I have not checked.

        The Honda CRV has always been an excellent vehicle but Honda have misinterpreted what that market needs and expects.

        • MirthaTidville

          Ah yes the Chelsea Tractors………….not many real cars have though

    • HooksLaw

      An absurd reason for not buying a car – and one which will increasingly limit your choices. Should the time ever come to actually need to change a wheel you probably would not be able to remove it (without recourse to the dangerous expedient of hitting it with a hammer on its jack) because the alloy would be effectively glued to the hub.

    • Olaf

      Most manufacturers do it. No spare = less cost. Also no spare = lower weight which helps the cars get better figures in the useless Euro economy measurements. For most cars you can specify a spare tyre for not a lot or if you do some reading you can pick up the relevant parts on Ebay for not a lot. So yes it is a penny pinching irritation from manufacturers but it’s easily sorted.

      Cars you absolutely can’t get anything other than tyre foam might be worth avoiding. Some tyre shops refuse to repair slime filled tyres which might start to cost you a lot of money if you’re prone to punctures.

  • Simon Bee

    What is it they say? Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics. Your Assertion that more people are employed in the UK than ever before is tempered slightly, or even totally by the fact that there are more people in the UK than ever before. Then you omit to include data on whether the jobs lost were full or part time or whether the jobs gained were full or part time.
    It could be argued that the number of full time employed as a percentage of the population has decreased dramatically and the number of part time employed as a percentage of population has risen slightly. This statement fits all of your facts, but renders your conclusion meaningless.
    The ideological changes the tories have made to our beloved country are starting to show how damaging they are. If we are not careful, when they get kicked out in a couple of years, it may be too late to repair the damage they have done.

    • Tom Tom

      One person has TWO part-time jobs and that Fraser is recorded in the statistics as ?

    • HooksLaw

      What cobblers. 13 years of socialism have left a fettid legacy and you are too thick to see it.

    • Span Ows

      Your final paragraph renders you whole comment meaningless. I suggest you take a peak at the rise of part time jobs. As per the BBC you seem to think 2010 was year 0…which renders your conclusion meaningless.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Out pops the Speccie teenager, the paid apologist.

    You earned your keep today, lad.

  • Pete Domican

    No one, outside the political bubble, would equate the substitution of a full time skilled engineering job at Honda with a part time job stacking shelves in a supermarket.
    PT work, internships, zero hour contracts and under utilised self employment help to create the illusion that things are better than they are.
    Economists don’t understand it because they don’t get out of their offices and go and talk to working people who do. Declining pay + increasing PT work + rising cost of basics i.e. food, utilities running at around 5% = less money to spend = flatlining economy.

    • Daniel Maris

      Quite. A very good analysis.

      Makes one wonder at what goes on in the mind of Speccie writers.

      • telemachus

        It quite misses the point that these job losses are further evidence of the recession triggered by Osborns rapid fire unjustified austerity
        When will people heed the Charismatic call to build for growth which will stoke the economy such as to prevent further such cuts

        • Span Ows

          You clearly have no understanding of the problem or the previous comments. Just jumping in trying to sound with it.

    • HooksLaw

      Car assembly does not equate to skilled engineering. You have clearly not seen 2 men, an automated hoist and wrench fit a MINI engine complete in 2 seconds flat. You have not seen 2 women fit a complete steering wheel and dashboard assembly in 10 seconds.
      Its all done on a padded rubber floor to spare their backs.

      Car assembly adds value, its not skilled engineering. I suspect its paralysingly boring, but financially rewarding.

      Honda only recently took on 500 workers, now its shedding 800. In the meantime we have had a Euro crisis and stagnant economies across Europe.

      If Honda is to keep its success going it needs to produce good products. This requires good design not simply good engineering. These job losses
      a – represent worries that their product is not as strong as it should be
      b – points to how important the EU is to our car industry

      • Michael990

        The general view in the industry appears to be that Honda have lost the plot rather in their latest offerings, irrespective of industry down turns and European over production.

  • MarinaS

    More people, working more hours, making lower wages, being able to afford a worse lifestyle, and often unable to afford decent housing at all.

    I live in Swindon, where every other person you meet is from a Honda “family”, and where an average house costs £240,000. And where the official rate of unemployment has been artificially held at zero for years by simply not paying out JSA to a lot of people who are entitled to it. So yeah, can’t see a problem looming here at all!

    Not to mention the damage to the rest of the local economy. There are whole businesses in North Swindon that survive on the patronage of Honda employees; I’m sure it’ll be a comfort to them, as they file for bankruptcy, to know that there’s been a dramatic increase in people nominally “employed” on zero-hour contracts! The hubris!

    • Tom Tom

      You make a good case for Samizdat Publishing in this country where Corporate Propaganda is recycled by paid advocacy journalism

    • HooksLaw

      You would rather Honda were making cars in Romania would you. Yeah lets see that.

  • fretful_porpentine

    Yes, more people are working for less money, and an increasing proportion of the wealth they create does not remain within the UK economy. Pretty obvious on the ground…

  • Hilton Holloway

    Standby for good news from the UK Auto industry very shortly.

    • David Julian Price

      Really Hilton, what’s that?

    • Dimoto

      Hyundai are finally going to open a plant in the UK ?!

      Nah, they are just content to (under the radar), gobble up market share in Europe from their ‘show’ plant in the Czech republic, and massive imports from elsewhere, in an eerie copy of Japanese strategy circa 1980.

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