Honda has surprised the New York Motor Show thoday with the unveiling of a sharp new concept that showcases the design direction of the next-generation Civic. The new Ford Focus rival is set to go on sale in 2018, and will be exported to the USA from its Swindon-based plant.
Honda is remaining silent regarding what we can expect from the next Civic, but the concept hints at what is to come in the future. The concept shows the US-based sedan body style, but expect a hatch to look similar when it launches in the UK.
Honda claims that in production form the new Civic will feature “more focus on sporty, fun-to-drive dynamics”, which should put it up squarely against cars such as the Ford Focus and SEAT Leon. Details of the UK lineup are yet to be confirmed, but the US will get the five-door hatch alongside a saloon and coupe. The hot Type R model will also return and make its US debut in 2018.
Previous North-American Civic models were built in Indiana, but now the UK will become a hub for the new range around the world as part of a £200million investment in its Swindon manufacturing plant.
Production of the fifth-generation Honda Civic will be centralised at Swindon and the car will exported to key global markets thanks to the investment plan. It’ll bring Honda’s total investment in its Swindon plant to more than £2.2billion since 1985.
News of Honda pumping money into its UK plant to make it the home of the Civic has come at the loss of CR-V production, however. Honda’s Ontario factory in Canada will build the next-generation CR-V, with Europe accepting imports.
Jason Smith, Director of Honda UK Manufacturing (HUM), said: “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.
“This is incredibly important for HUM and is a reward for the commitment and effort put in by Honda Associates in recent years.”
The news comes off the back of similar investments by manufacturers into their UK factories. Jaguar Land Rover announced on 26 March its Castle Bromwich and Whitley sites would receive a £600million investment, while Coventry-based London Taxi Company also revealed on 26 March a £250million investment plan and the creation of 1,000 jobs as it gears up to build ultra low emission taxis.