Honda Motor Co. is mulling developing the next generation of the Honda Civic in the United States instead of in Japan, according to Satoshi Takami, a spokesman for the carmaker in Tokyo. The possible shift came after the last version of the Civic received heavy criticisms. The 2012 Honda Civic, the carmaker’s third-best selling model in 2011 after the CR-V and the Accord, received criticism for sporting an uninspired design and a rough ride.
Takami said that localising Civic development in the US is one of the things under consideration, as Honda aims to develop cars locally where they are being sold. According to a Monday report by the Nikkei business daily, Honda would develop both the next generation Civic and Accord sedans in the US and will roll them out for sale around 2016.
Takami disclosed that the Japanese carmaker is mulling developing the next generation Civic at its Research and Development (R&D) centre in Ohio, rather than in Tochigi, Japan.
He added that there is no decision yet for the Accord. If the plan pushes through, Honda’s engineers in Ohio could handle the development of the Civic's body and the interior, while engineers in Tochigi could still develop engines and other core parts.
Honda is scheduled to unveil the refreshed 2013 Civic Thursday at the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show. Honda chief executive Takanobu Ito has been hoping for the carmaker’s engineers outside Japan to be more involved, with an aim to reflect the different demands of customers around the world.