The hatchback market is continuing to make a comeback in the U.S., as more and more automakers continue to release small cargo haulers for American consumption. One of the few major automakers that is still on the outside of the hatchback market looking in is Honda. However, according to a report from Nikkei Asian Review, Honda won’t be without an American hatchback for much longer.
The report claims that due to recent shrinkage of Honda’s market share in Europe, the automaker is planning to import vehicles into Europe from Japan and Mexico. This switch from building cars in Europe to importing them will leave its plant in Swindon, U.K. without much to do, as one of its production lines has already been idle since 2014. To offset this reduced output, Honda will boost the plant’s production of Civic Hatchbacks and ship them to the U.S.
This change in production will kill a pair of birds with one stone. First, it will boost the productivity of the plant, giving it a reason to remain operational. Second, it will give Honda its first Civic Hatchback in the American market in about a decade.
The initial plan is for the plant to build an extra 30,000 to 40,000 Civic Hatchbacks for export. If demand is even higher, then the plant can build up to 100,000 from this idle line without issue. The Civic Hatchback will reportedly start rolling into the U.S. in 2016.
One bit of speculation that this brings to the forefront is whether this is a sign that the Civic Type R is coming to the U.S. or not. In years past, Honda built the Type R in the Swindon plant, so this could be a sign that it may come to America. I don’t recommend holding your breath for it, but this move does make it more of a possibility.