Honda to Build New European-Spec Civic and CR-V in the United Kingdom

By Trevor Dorchies | August 01, 2011
Automakers often use the same nameplate on slightly different cars around the world. A good example is the Honda Civic. While the European version of Honda's compact may look similar to the recently introduced 2012 Honda Civic we have on our shores, it's different enough to have its own factory, its own unique style, and its own on-sale date. While Honda hasn't quite shown us what its Euro-Civic will look like, it has told us that production will begin this fall at the company's Swindon, England, facility, alongside the Euro-spec 2012 Honda CR-V. Like many Japanese manufacturing plants, the Swindon factory's production was hit hard by supply problems resulting from the tsunami that struck Japan earlier this year. The Swindon facility is aiming to make up lost ground hastily so it can catch up with customer demand.
Honda says that the European-spec Civic hatchback underwent the longest testing regimen of any vehicle ever made by Honda. This ensured that it could handle any European road it might encounter, from smooth expressways to the bumpiest cobblestone streets. While Civics in the U.S. are usually thought of as entry-level economy cars, the model is a full-fledged family hauler in Europe, and Honda designed the suspension and handling with that in mind. Japanese engineers collaborated with their European counterparts to better the ride quality for the Civic while retaining current model's handling. "Every time we visited Europe during the development of the car, we achieved significant improvements in the ride and handling, tuning the car for the local demands," says Kazuo Sunaoshi, the Civic's chassis development leader. "The new Civic is not just an evolution. In terms of ride quality, we have taken a major step forwards, equivalent to two generations of development." Honda used advanced, fluid-filled suspension bushings in the rear, which help give the new Civic a smoother ride and sharper handling. The Civic's compact rear suspension also gives it the biggest interior room in its class. Honda will unveil its newest European Civic in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show, while the CR-V will be available to the public in the fall of this year. Source: Honda U.K.