Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) said it would not build the next generation Jazz (Fit) from 2014 “to benefit from production economies of scale and fully [use] Honda’s global production resources”.
The entry level model for Europe, previously sourced from Japan, China, Japan again and, finally, the UK, will be built “outside of Europe” but HUM did not say if this would be a return to Chinese sourcing – from the export-only Honda Automobile Company China joint venture – or Suzaka in Japan.
At last week’s Paris motor show media preview day on 27 September, Honda Motor Europe president, Manabu Nishimae, announced the launch of two new Civic -based models; the latest Type R sports hatchback and the reintroduction of the Civic wagon, a five door model.
A wagon version was offered in Europe from 1998 until 2000. It was originally developed under the Honda/Rover partnership when the two automakers built the Rover 400/45 line and some European Civic models on a shared platform but only Honda actually put the wagon into production.
(At least one roadworthy prototype Rover 45-badged version was built and is now in private hands.)
Honda’s 1984 to 1988 third generation Civic line included a high-roof ‘wagon’ version called the Shuttle, with optional four-wheel drive, and this body style was continued with the redesigned, fourth generation line sold from 1988 to 1992. Both were sold world-wide. Earlier, the 1980-1984 second generation included a more conventional wagon variant.
Honda confirmed this week the two new Civics would be built at HUM, the sole source of five door hatchbacks already in production and exported throughout Europe and as far afield as Australia and New Zealand. The plant also builds the current Jazz and just-launched redesigned CR-V which are also widely exported; diesel CR-Vs will be shipped to Australia next year.
“The addition of these two new Civic derivatives to the production schedule at HUM will help to further improve production efficiencies at the plant. Furthermore, as part of Honda’s localisation activities, the development and design of the Civic Wagon has been conducted locally in the European region,” Honda said.
The CR-V “will continue to be exclusively produced for the European market at HUM”.
Honda recently announced a GBP267m spend at HUM for production of the redesigned Civic hatchback launched earlier this year, CR-V and the new 1.6 litre diesel engine.
Production volume is forecast to remain unchanged at 182,000 for the financial year ending 31 March 2013.