Honda will move production of the Civic's hatchback body style from a plant in the United Kingdom to North America, the automaker's CEO has confirmed.
The news, which was widely expected, comes just a week after the automaker announced it will close its plant at Swindon in South West England in 2021.
“Given our efforts to optimize production allocation and production capacity on a global scale, we have concluded that we will produce the Civic for North America in North America,” Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo told Automotive News (subscription required) in an interview published Monday.
The plant is where Honda sources the hatch versions of the Civic, including the Civic Type R, for sale in the U.S. The numbers aren't small as imports accounted for roughly a third of the 325,760 Civics sold here in 2018.
Automotive News reported that Honda will utilize plants in the United States and Canada to replace Swindon's capacity, meaning Civic Type Rs could potentially be built here beyond 2021. The 306-horsepower hot hatch was introduced for 2017 and given some minor updates for 2019.
Honda has operated the Swindon plant for three decades. The decision to close the plant and in the process cut 3,500 jobs is part of the automaker's strategy to increase utilization rates at its plants above 100 percent and boost spending on electrification. The automaker will also close a plant in Turkey responsible for Civic sedans in 2021.
“We have decided to carry out this production realignment in Europe in light of our efforts to optimize production allocation and production capacity globally, as well as accelerating electrification,” Hachigo said in his interview with Automotive News.