The Japanese carmaker said Tuesday that it will shut down a major manufacturing plant in the English town of Swindon that employs 3,500 people. Thousands more jobs will be put at risk in suppliers and other businesses.
Swindon is the only Japanese car company in the European Union. The restructuring also involves Honda's business in Turkey, which currently produces 38,000 Civic sedans per year. That will cease in 2021
Honda said that production would shift to Japan, North America and China.
Honda Motor Europe President Katsushi Inoue said in a statement that restructuring is needed to "accelerate our electrification strategy" as the auto industry seeks to overcome "unprecedented changes."
But the uncertainty about Britain's future trading relations with its largest export market is one of the big clouds hanging over the car industry.
Christian Stadler, an automotive expert and professor of strategic management at Warwick Business School, said that Brex had "must have been a factor" in Honda's decision.
"Companies of Japan and other countries were attracted to Britain, because they gave them easier entry into the lucrative European market through English speaking country. At the moment, there is no deal to continue that after Brexit, "he said.