After 36 years of operations, Honda's Swindon UK plant, the facility responsible for building the current-generation Civic Type R, has officially closed its doors today.
The news of its closure isn't new. As early as 2019, Honda announced that the Swindon plant, together with another facility in Turkey, will cease operations in 2021. The automaker says the decision to shut down the factories is a response to the company accelerating its commitment towards electric and electrified models.
Honda's Swindon factory was once the largest in the region, having built 150,000 units annually. But aside from everyday vehicles, such as the Civic and the CR-V, the Swindon plant is famous for building Civic Type R models.
The facility started building Civic Type R models in 2001 when the second-generation (EP3) Civic Type R was introduced. Yes, even the Japan-spec EP3s were built at the UK plant and shipped to Japan afterward. It was followed by the FN2 Civic Type R (the FD2 was a Japan model), the previous-generation FK2, and the current-generation FK8.
With the Swindon plant now closed, the question now is this: Where will Honda build the new Civic Type R? The automaker has already confirmed that a new Type R is coming in 2022. Details are about the hot hatchback are still scarce, but it will be based on the new Civic Hatchback that debuted last month.
One of the likeliest locations where the new Civic Type R could be built is in the USA. Another possibility is it may be manufactured in Japan. If true, it would be the first new Civic Type R model manufactured in Japan following the FD2R in 2010. As for the Thailand plant, that's highly unlikely.
Whatever the case, we have to thank Honda's Swindon plant for giving us great hot hatchbacks over the years.