LONDON, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Japanese carmaker Honda will close its British car plant in 2021 with the loss of about 3,500 jobs, bringing a blow to the country's car industry as Brexit approaches, according to a statement published Tuesday by Honda website.

The Japanese company made over 150,000 vehicles at the Swindon factory in southern England last year, with some 90 percent being exported to the European Union (EU).

Katsushi Inoue, Chief Officer for European Regional Operations, said "in light of the unprecedented changes that are affecting our industry, it is vital that we accelerate our electrification strategy and restructure our global operations accordingly."

"As a result, we have had to take this difficult decision to consult our workforce on how we might prepare our manufacturing network for the future, Inoue said, adding "this has not been taken lightly and we deeply regret how unsettling today's announcement will be for our people."

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said Honda's decision was a "commercial decision based on unprecedented changes in the global market."

"This news is a particularly bitter blow to the thousands of skilled and dedicated staff who work at the factory, their families and all of those employed in the supply chain." Clark said.