Following the revelation that Honda will close the Civic hatchback’s production facility in Swindon, UK, the Japanese automaker has suggested that the next generation will be manufactured in another plant.
When quizzed by Autoblog about what the UK factory closure means for the future of the Civic hatchback, Honda said it’s considering shifting production to North America. While we don’t know if that means Canada, the United States, or Mexico, Honda did say that roughly 20 per cent of all Civic sales across the continent are for the hatchback.
Moving production of the Civic hatchback overseas would be a big job, but its popularity and importance in Honda’s range means it would make no sense to kill it off.
Honda went on to specify that if production of the Civic hatchback does indeed move to North America, it won’t happen until the next-generation Civic is launched in 2021.
Officially, the automaker decided to close its Swindon facility as part of a revision of its global manufacturing operations that will help to accelerate its commitment to electrified cars, though we dare say that the strong possibility of a no-deal Brexit had something to do with it, too.
The Swindon site currently builds 150,000 cars annually and provides employment for approximately 3,500 people. Honda recently informed its employees of the plant’s impending closure in 2021 and has started consultation activity with workers who will be affected. In addition to closing the UK plant, Honda will stop building the Civic Sedan at its Gebze factory in Turkey in the same year. Could this mean North America will also be responsible for building the next-generation Honda Civic Sedan? That’s still unknown, but we wouldn’t rule it out.