Honda assembly line stripped down and shipped on M4
The dismantling of Honda’s Swindon factory is well underway as parts from the assembly line have been shipped to new owners.
The South Marston plant was the Japanese automaker’s headquarters until last summer when it was decommissioned and all workers were made redundant.
Honda has cleaned up the factory to prepare it for legal handover to new owner Panattoni this year.
Last weekend and Thursday, trucks carrying huge items from the old Honda factory caused delays for motorists.
A Honda spokesperson said: “As part of Honda UK Manufacturing’s (Honda) dismantling activity, a series of abnormal load convoys left the Swindon factory over a four-day period in January.
“Honda has engaged with the purchaser of the equipment and all relevant parties to mitigate disruptions to local traffic as best as possible.”
Police had to escort the vehicles and warned motorists to expect delays as the slow convoys made their way from Swindon to their new home in West Bristol.
They traveled along the A361 Highworth Road, on the A419 southbound from the Rat Trap to junction 15 of the M4, then westbound on the motorway to their destination on the west side of Bristol.
Various parts of the press lines are thought to be carried and, while unconfirmed, a spokesman said there may be more abnormal loads leaving the factory in the future.
“The remaining equipment decommissioned will be assessed to determine how best to transport it from the Swindon site,” they said.
“Honda will continue to work with the buyer to ensure all affected parties are kept informed.”
The plant’s closure marked the end of an important era for Swindon, with Honda being one of the town’s main employers for just over 35 years.
The factory’s last day, July 30, saw around 3,500 workers get off the tools for the last time after it announced its shock closure in 2019.
The last locally-built Honda Civic rolled off the production line on Wednesday, July 28, with workers stopping to witness the poignant moment and management offering a few words of thanks.
Over the three and a half decades, the plant’s peak employment saw more than 4,000 people working there, and the workforce manufactured 3.7 million cars as well as 4.1 million engines .