Honda plans to front-load UK production ahead of Brexit

Braced for a possible logistical nightmare when Britain leaves the EU in March, Honda said it was preparing to build up inventories or front-load some production at its UK plant to ship overseas or build up inventories.

The Japanese automaker, which produces the Civic hatchback model at its factory in Swindon, southwest England, may face possible supply chain, production and distribution issues if Britain's borders are disrupted from 29 March, when the country is due to leave the EU.

"To avoid any possible disruptions at the end of March we are making a number of preparations including front-loading some production to ship or step up inventories," Honda Chief Operating Officer Seiji Kuraishi told reporters in Tokyo on 1 February.

Automakers in Britain have warned that their factories, which rely on the constant delivery of parts to enter production cycles, would be severely impaired if Britain leaves without a trade deal, forcing the need for customs checks at borders.

Earlier this month, Honda said it would stop its British operations for six days in April to help counter any disruptions resulting from a potentially chaotic Brexit.