Honda has said its production plant in Swindon, UK, will become a global production hub for the next generation Civic five-door model, with exports to wider Europe and other unspecified global markets.
Honda is dedicating the plant to Civic production, including the Tourer and Type R, but is shifting the assembly of the CR-V model, currently made there, to its Ontario plant in Canada, from where CR-Vs will be exported for the European market.
At the moment there is a 50:50 split between Civic and CR-V production at the plant, meaning that the Ontario plant will be accommodating an additional 60,000 units of annual capacity. It is the first time the Canadian plant has exported to Europe.
“Honda is thrilled to once again have good news for automotive manufacturing in Canada by broadening our production portfolio to include exports to the European market,” said Jerry Chenkin, president and CEO of Honda Canada. He went on to say that the catalyst for the carmaker’s decision to export the CR-Vs from Canada was the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.
“These opportunities will open new markets for our high quality vehicles from Canada and help keep us competitive in the global environment,” added Chenkin.
Honda of Canada Mfg (HCM) has the capacity to produce 390,000 Civic and CR-V models annually for the Canadian and North American markets, as well as for export.
Meanwhile, Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) said it will increase Civic volumes while developing improved economies of scale. Annual production capacity will remain at 120,000 (as it was last year) but will be purely for Civic five-door and the other variants. A Honda spokesperson said that for the next generation Civic Honda had not confirmed the product line up, so it could not speculate on what percentage of the production capacity will be accounted for by which variant.
“By establishing HUM as a global production facility for the Civic five door, Honda is demonstrating its long-term commitment to manufacturing in the UK and Europe,” said Jason Smith, director of HUM. “This is incredibly important for HUM and is a reward for the commitment and effort put in by Honda Associates in recent years. As a global production facility for the Civic five door model, we look forward to making the most of the opportunity to export this model not only to our European customers, but also, to key global markets.”
HUM uses a number of transport providers to move the Civic models it makes in the UK to Europe, including Stobart EU, MVT, DFDS, Gefco and Mercurio.