Talk Radio and Twitter

Journalist and radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer clashed with critics on Twitter after she claimed the recent Honda factory closure in Swindon was due to the factory making diesel cars that nobody wants to "buy anymore".

She shared an opinion piece published in autocar.co.uk, in which the author argued falling diesel demand was a cause of the closure, which puts 3,500 jobs at risk.

Taking to Twitter, she wrote:

Oh look. Why Honda is set to shut its Swindon factory – written by people who actually *know* about the car industry.

Spoiler alert: they make diesel cars at that factory & no one wants to buy them anymore.

People pointed out that the UK factory doesn’t, uh, make many diesel cars…

A Honda spokesperson said:

For financial year 2018/19, the breakdown of cars built at Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd is Diesel 6% and Petrol 94%.

Her words have prompted a wave of criticism, with several people reminding her that Nissan chairman Gianluca de Ficchy recently announced that the company will not be making the next-generation X-Trail in the UK in part due to Brexit "uncertainty".

One Twitter user summed it up perfectly:

Quote: "Is Brexit uncertainty a factor? Almost certainly"

Cue leaver logic: It's not exclusively about Brexit. Therefore it's nothing to do with Brexit.

It's logic, Jim, but not as we know it.

Others followed suit.

Numerous economic experts have said Brexit uncertainty has influenced a number of big companies to move their base of operations out of the UK.

Writer Jim Holder wrote on the same website Hartley-Brewer is citing, that "Brexit is a problem for UK automotive, whatever your political stance".

He wrote:

What reasonable mind – particularly one clever enough to hit CEO level in a multi-national corporation – could conclude that investing tens or hundreds of millions into a plant in the UK is a good idea when they have no sound basis for knowing what the outcome of negotiations – and thereby the standing on which they will realise those investments – will be?

Investment in the British car industry fell by 50 per cent in 2018 as firms held back on spending dur to Brexit-related uncertainty.

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