In an attempt to balance the books at its European operations, the Honda Civic hatchback will be sold in the US.
According to the Nikkei, Honda will begin selling the Civic hatchback in the US from, it’s estimated, as early as the summer of 2016. This on-sale date will likely coincide with the launch of the next generation Civic hatch.
The Nikkei believes that Honda’s plant in Swindon, UK, is currently operating at well under capacity. Fitted out to produce a maximum of 250,000 cars per year, the Swindon factory currently has two idle production lines and is running 100,000 under its maximum.
Part of this is due to dropping sales in Europe — Honda has a 1 percent market share with sales of 133,000 across the EU in 2014. It’s also partially due to the fact that Honda has decided to import the new Jazz from Japan, rather than produce it locally.
As part of Honda’s cost cutting efforts, it is also centralising its European operations near its Swindon factory, and repatriating most of the senior European staff back to Japan.
The company is apparently planning on selling 30,000 to 40,000 Civic hatches in the US annually. That sounds like a lot, but remember that Honda sold over 325,000 Civics in the US in 2014.