The Japanese automaker, Honda, will manufacture in North America the next generation Honda Civic sedan and coupe to be sold in the US.
Currently 85% of the vehicles Honda sells in the US are manufactured in North American plant, the rest of 15% being produced in Japan. But over the time, Honda’s Research and Development facility in Ohio has been offered more responsibility, being assigned to develop body styles for cars already engineered in Japan such as a coupe version of the Civic compact or a wagon version of the Honda Accord, then developing the Accura models and also Honda’s Pilot SUV and Odyssey minivan.
“It takes a long time to transplant the culture, beliefs and know-how of a company into new soil and then to execute it consistently and at a high level,” said Erik Berkman, president of Honda R&D Americas.
Now the Ohio facility was given a more important task, to develop the company’s most important future models, the next-generation Honda Civic and the NSX supercar. The Civic compact is Honda’s best-sold car globally, but the 2012 model was met with some disappointment. The auto maker has already planned improvements for the 2013 model, which will be introduced in 2016. But all in all, the Civic is still the best sold small car in America.
“If the perception is that we aren’t winning in the marketplace, we aren’t happy,” said Berkman. “We all know that second place is the first loser. So we have some work to do.”