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Will Honda’s move mean we get a better deal on cars?

PUBLISHED: 16:58 19 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:05 19 February 2019

Honda has said it is leaving the UK to focus on electric car production.

Honda has said it is leaving the UK to focus on electric car production.

Archant

The British car industry has been dealt a blow as it was announced that Honda will move its production out of the UK resulting in 3,500 job losses.

And with the Japenese car maker citing an acceleration into the production of electric cars for the move, this spells change across the entire market.

But dealers in traditional petrol and diesel cars have dampened fears that fuel cars will soon become extinct, saying that the UK is not prepared for an electric car overhaul.

“I’ve been selling cars for 15 years,” said Graham Ford, owner of GFE cars in Norwich’s Dereham Road. “I sell petrol and diesel cars, and I’ve sold some hybrid. As a garage which does repairs I can say that hybrids are the most difficult to fix because their parts – particularly batteries – are so expensive.

“In my opinion, if Honda starts making electric cars the same way they rolled out hybrids, we’ll have the same problem.”

He added: “Once you start looking into electric cars you realise they’re not actually as environmentally friendly as you might think. They’re very expensive to replace, and the batteries often need changing more frequently than you think. Plus, when they get to the end of their lives not many of the parts are freely recyclable.”

Mr Ford continued: “I’ve sold five cars so far this week, four of them were diesel. Not a single person even mentioned the difference in fuel, and I’ve never had anyone ask or query whether it’ll still be a good option in two or three year’s time.”

The dealer said that the UK did not have the infrastructure to be taken over by electric cars.

“Not many houses these days come with a garage – and you need a garage or the ability to park on a driveway extremely close to your house if you’re going to have an electric car,” said Mr Ford.

“I think once people start doing the research into it they realise electric cars aren’t as convenient as they thought.”

He added: “I don’t think the Honda move will affect the British car industry in the way some headlines might claim. Although there will be a loss of jobs, which is very sad, I can’t see it affecting price.

“Even though Honda said Swindon was a manufacturing plant, it was also an assembly line. At the end of the day everything is imported in some way or another, so I can’t see the price of Hondas being forced up.”

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