At long last, we Americans may finally be getting the hatchback Civic that Honda has sold to Europeans for years-and apparently we have those Europeans to thank for it! Not to celebrate Europeans' misfortune, but the car market on the Continent has been spotty as of late, and the downturn has hit Honda particularly hard. According to the Nikkei, Honda's U.K. plant where it builds the Civic hatchback is operating at 40 percent capacity, prompting Honda to look for ways to stop hemorrhaging money there. Plan A? Start shipping some of the factory's production stateside.
Now, there are a few caveats here, the largest of which is that when asked for comment, Honda told us that the Nikkei story is pure speculation, and that it has made “no announcements about Civic production for the U.S. market, relative to [its] European operations.” Also, whatever U.K.-built Civic is sent here, if it is at all, it won't be sent here any time soon, leading us to believe we're looking forward not to the current-generation Civic hatchback, but the next-generation model. Today's Civic hatch wasn't designed with North American regulations in mind-hence why we won't be getting the epic Civic Type R-and rumor has it that the next-gen Civic will be a global product, meaning from California to Japan there will be Civics sold in more or less the same form.
The Nikkei reports that shipments of Euro Civics could begin as early as mid-2016, with annual North America–bound output being pegged at around 30,000–40,000 cars. That should help alleviate some of the unused capacity at Honda's U.K. plant, and, assuming that England doesn't suddenly have an urge to begin building Civic sedans (remember, Europe is a strange and magical hatch-philic place), we'd get the first Civic hatches sold stateside since Honda offered the lackluster, Euro-derived Civic Si from 2003 to 2004.