CIVIC > History > Basic Car for the World
Basic Car for the World
Honda’s Overseas Business Progresses in Tandem with the Civic

Honda’s overseas business has advanced in parallel with the globalization of the Civic, which is now sold in approximately 160 nations and regions worldwide. Overseas production began in Indonesia in 1975, and Civic vehicles are now made in 11 countries, including North America, Europe, Asia and South America. Total cumulative production of Civic models at the end of calendar 2004 was approximately 16 million units—making it one of the most popular models in Honda history. In addition to expanding its overseas business, Honda has made incremental increases in the Civic’s local content*3, which has reached 97% in North America, 85% in Europe and 72% in the ASEAN market, served by the model manufactured in Thailand.

The localization of the Civic and Honda’s business expansion in the United States are two sides of the same coin. In 1986, Honda of America Mfg., Inc. (HAM), began making the Civic, having already built the Honda Accord, at its Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio. In the following year, Honda announced its “Five Part Strategy for North America” initiative*4, which called for increased localization, not only of sales but also of production and research and development. As part of this initiative, Honda built a second U.S. auto plant, in East Liberty, Ohio, in 1989, with the Civic as its core model for full-scale localization of production.

In 1992, Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA), developed the Civic Coupe , a dedicated model for the North American market. Until that time, the design of the Civic was common throughout the world—consistent with its image as a “world car.” In this case, however, Honda focused closely on local needs and created a model specifically for the local market. The response was very positive, further boosting the profile of the Civic.

The Civic also has a long history in Europe. Since sales began there in 1973, the Civic has progressed in line with changing market needs. Among world markets, demand for compact hatchback vehicles is strongest in Europe, and competition there is fiercest. In response, Honda focused on four-door and fivedoor hatchbacks when it embarked on production of the Civic in the region. Since 2001, a three-door model produced locally at Honda of the U.K. Manufacturing Ltd. has been exported to the United States and Japan, ushering in a new era in which a European-made Civic debuted on the world stage.

As the pace of motorization picks up in Asia, the Civic continues to be warmly received by customers as a car with high added value. In the Middle & Near East, South America and other developing markets, as well, the Civic remains highly regarded as a status symbol.

As we can see, the Civic is positioned differently according to the characteristics of each specific market. In any case, technological advances have given its true global appeal, both as a “people’s car” for commuters and a “prestige automobile”
with added value.

*3 Local contents
For measuring procurement ratios, we use the former EPA method for North America and the EPA method for Europe.
*4 Five Part Strategy for North America
(1) increased local content targets (75% by 1991); (2) strengthening and expansion of Honda R&D Americas (increase in associates and acquisition of comprehensive test track facility); (3) strengthening and expansion of the Ohio facility of Honda Engineering North America, Inc., which is responsible for production systems and technologies (increase in associates to boost capacity); (4) expansion of HAM's No. 2 line and engine production project (boost finished vehicle output to 150,000 units per year and raise capacity of engine production line); and (5) establish an export plan for HAM-produced passenger vehicles (increase in exports, including to Japan, in line with expanded production capacity).

Hong Kong, 1986. The Civic with its refined styling fits right in with the city atmosphere.
In 1992, a locally developed Civic becomes the first North American coupe model.
In 1997, a new Civic undergoes stringent quality checks at a finished car inspection line at the Sumare, Brazil, plant.
The Civic surrounded by associates as the first car rolls off the production line at the plant in Turkey. Cars from this factory are shipped throughout Europe.
The 2005 model is already proving popular. European demand for the hatchback model is strong.
In line with its “Five Part Strategy for North America” initiative announced in 1986, Honda builds a facility in East Liberty, Ohio, to produce the Civic locally.

Honda’s Worldwide Car Production and Production of the Civic (Cumulative)

Through 1996, worldwide production figures are the total of Japanese production (CBU+CKD) plus exports of knockdown kits.
From 1997 onward, these figures are calculated on an off-production-line basis, excluding domestic production (CBU+CKD) and overseas production (CKD).

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