Honda is closing its factory in Turkey as the country’s new-car sales collapse.
Vehicle sales in Turkey dropped 35 percent last year to 612,607 as the value of the local currency fell, figures from JATO Dynamics show. Honda’s sales bucked the trend by rising 8.5 percent due to the popularity of the locally made Civic sedan, Turkey’s fourth best-selling car last year.
However, Honda’s January sales were down 40 percent as the overall market collapsed by 59 percent.
Honda said on Tuesday that it will close its assembly factories in Gebze, Turkey and Swindon, England, as part of a global restructuring to improve capacity utilization.
Both factories build the Civic compact car – the hatchback is produced in Swindon and the sedan in Gebze. Honda said the plant closures by 2021 were planned to coincide with the end of the current Civic's lifecycle.
“This is not related to the slowdown in the Turkish economy,” Honda said in a statement.
Honda said it will focus production on its higher volume regions of China, Japan and the U.S., where it would invest in new electrified cars.
Other automakers including Ford, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are being hit by Turkey’s economic crisis, but none have announced factory closures.