BMW is transferring its UK headquarters to Farnborough, Hampshire, from Bracknell after 30 years; while Honda is relocating its national operations’ base to the Berkshire city in October from Slough.
The automotive sector corporate moves from and to Bracknell will affect around 1,500 staff, most of whom are expected to remain with their respective German and Japanese brands, writes Hugh Hunston.
Outlining Honda’s move from Slough, where the company’s UK and European base has been for 14 years, UK managing director Phil Crossman said: “The Langley site is coming to the end of its useful tenure and needs money spending on it. We are bringing all our businesses, including the separately located finance operation, under one roof. That covers cars, motor bikes and finance, plus our power divisions.”
With Honda’s relocation due for completion in October within a 70,000 square foot building on the Reflex Business Park, Crossman said the new purpose-equipped premises would be better utilised and more cost effective as the current facility was under occupied.
Around 450 Honda staff are affected and the vast majority are expected to make the move.
By moving its UK base to Bracknell Honda’s sales and administration units will be around 11 miles closer to the Swindon production plant, which builds 95% of cars sold through the 176-outlet car dealership network.
Meanwhile BMW is leaving its listed 1980s, company-owned Ellesfield Avenue, Bracknell, site after nearly three decades to take over what was previously the three-building Nokia complex in Farnborough close to junction 4A of the M3 later this year.
It is expected to feature a more comprehensive, interactive car display area to showcase the brand’s latest showroom format and a VIP customer reception unit.
That is likely to be complemented by a heritage centre displaying historically significant BMW and Mini cars plus BMW motorbikes.
Roughly 1,000 staff are employed across the various divisions and are expected to make the transfer.
A BMW spokesman said: “This move lets us bring all non-industrial UK operations into one property, including our financial service division, the Alphabet leasing business and technical services, plus core car and motor bike businesses. The old Nokia building will be renovated, refitted from scratch, and leased.”