By on September 13, 2016

2017 Honda Civic HatchbackAs 2017 Honda Civic Hatchbacks roll off ships on the Atlantic coast of North America, we’ve learned that Honda expects to send 40 percent of the company’s Swindon, England, Civic assembly plant output to North America.

In an article discussing the launch of the European-market Civic Hatchback at the upcoming Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris, Automotive News Europe says 20 percent of Civic Hatchback production will remain in the United Kingdom. Another 40 percent will head to the rest of Europe. ANE also says the United States “will take 40 percent of the 120,000-unit annual production, the company predicts.”

Long live the crossover? Honda’s about to put another 48,000 hatchbacks on North American roads.

American Honda already intends to sell the Civic Hatchback to a different group of buyers than the Civic sedan and coupe already attract, believing there’s little chance for cannibalization based on the company’s internal customer clinics.

But when we asked Honda to provide deeper insights into potential Civic Hatchback popularity late last month, the automaker was not yet prepared to share such product planning details.2017 Honda Civic Hatchbacks Autoport Nova ScotiaAfter confirming with the writer of the ANE article, Nick Gibbs, that “U.S.” refers to North America as a whole, we can use the current North American sedan/coupe sales breakdown to predict that American Honda plans to sell 40,000 Civic Hatchbacks per year. Canada, an inordinately strong market for the Civic, would then produce roughly 7,500 annual Civic Hatchback sales, with a handful potentially left over for the Mexican market, where Honda sells fewer than 900 Civics per month.

Representatives for American Honda and Honda Canada declined to confirm the report.

If American Honda is correct and the Civic Hatchback won’t eat into Civic sedan and coupe demand, and if Honda sustains the current high level of Civic demand in 2017 — two big ifs — just under 10 percent of the Civics sold in the United States next year would be hatchbacks.

There’s no shortage of competition for a Honda that could justifiably be considered stylistically challenged. There are already hatchback variants of the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, Subaru Impreza, and Kia Forte. The Scion iM becomes the Toyota Corolla iM for MY2017. The Volkswagen Golf is all hatchback all the time. We now know what the next Hyundai Elantra GT will look like. The Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback’s pricing was announced in June.

Without the hatchback, the Honda Civic is America’s second-best-selling car through 2016’s first eight months thanks to a 15-percent year-over-year improvement through August.

[Image: American Honda, © Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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32 Comments on “Forecast: American Honda Plans To Sell 40,000 Civic Hatchbacks Per Year...”


  • avatar
    kvndoom

    “Ford Focus, Mazda 3, Subaru Impreza, Kia Forte, Scion IM”

    Only 2 of those sell in any appreciable numbers. I have little doubt the Civic will slaughter the others in sales numbers.

    I’m looking forward to some seat time in their hot hatch variant.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Bwa. Ha. Ha.

    There will be some sales to those for whom the HR-V isn’t sufficiently runtish but otherwise pfft.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    I think that looks ok both as a hatch or sedan… I’m allergic to turbo 1.5 CVTs so the base PFI 2.0 manuals sounds good.

    Unfortunately we only get the 1.8 sohc four here so this car is a non starter.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    They actually made the hatchback uglier than the sedan, unbelievable. The sedan is odd and a little disturbing but I could live with it. The hatchback looks like it already has an aftermarket cladding kit like those slapped on lowered late model civic and integra coupes.

    The sedan is shaped like a liftback anyway, they just should have extended the trunk aperture.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    What a busy mess.

  • avatar
    maxxcool7421

    *not* with that ass-end they won’t. There are only so many Female drivers who like Civic’s over Accords and Camrys and Corollas …

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Honda brilliantly avoids the affections of both car guys and practical adults with this wretched insect.

    But it will be a marvelously durable and dependable wretched insect! It’s almost as if Honda has its own Akio.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I dunno. If I had to buy a new car in October, it would either be the nicest MT/turbo Civic hatchback I could find or an A4.

    • 0 avatar
      mshenzi

      Well, I’m going to have a serious look at the Civic hatchback, and I’m a car guy who routinely hauls people, other animals, recreation gear, and lots of home project stuff around. I’ve only owned hatchbacks since I graduated college 30+ years ago, and this’ll be the only Honda on my long list, so the product planners had me pegged. I’m reserving judgement on the looks until I see it in the tin, but how the interior (including the hatch area) lays out, plus how it, you know, drives, will matter, too.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    From the provided picture, this car looks like the very definition of “squashback”. Hopefully in real life the hatch is more usable than it appears.

    Properly done, a compact hatchback can carry a surprisingly large amount of stuff. I had a Mk I Focus hatch, and once got a child sized dresser in the hatch.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Maybe it’s just the way I define body styles, but that’s no hatchback. That’s a Liftback. Hatchbacks have vertical tailgates, or close.

    The Prius is a Liftback. The Scion iM, aka Toyota Corolla iM is a hatchback.

    Hatchbacks make sense to me. Liftbacks are just as space inefficient as trunks, but with better access.

    • 0 avatar
      dash riprock

      Agree, still hatch or lift I would be interested in it. I really like the new civic sedan, looks great when I see them on the road. But the back end on this liftback is the worse I have seen, and we have a prius so I know awkward and ugly.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Ugh, they should have just made the current “sedan” have a lift-back hatch and call it a day.

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    Ewww…while I need to see one in person, my initial reaction is “Gross!” Honda seems to have really lost it in the styling department. Like Kenmore alludes to in his comment, newer Honda cars look like insects.

    This is timely since we are on the market for a 5-door hatch. I doubt that this one will be in the mix.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    I have 6 more years till I can retire – assuming everything stays on course. I plan to buy a new vehicle then and just enjoy life. Honda has 2 that catch my interest, the new Ridgeline – practical and all I would need and this new Civic hatch. I know, hey man that’s apples to bananas here – ones a truck and the other is a car, no kidding. But, I think I could be happy in either. I had a 5 door Integra back in 1986 and ex wife got it. I always missed that car. This little Civic could be my golden years present to myself and a big middle finger to that bitch.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    If something happened to my Accord, the hatch would be on my short list, as would the 4 door sedan as would the Accord with a manual. I ended up with the Accord after looking at the ’14 Civics.

    I love the hatches styling.

    Do we need to worry about that it is made in England?

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      The Swindon-made EP3 Civic Si hatchbacks from the early 2000s seem to have held up decently, I wouldn’t say there’s too much cause for concern. Of course I’d always rather have either a Japanese or American made Honda, but at least it’s not Mexico or China (sorry, that’s just how I feel).

    • 0 avatar
      cls12vg30

      My wife and I had a 2006 CR-V that was UK-assembled, no issues at all. I’ve never heard of appreciable differences of Hondas built in Japan, Ohio, or wherever. I would never have known if I wasn’t the type of person who inspects doorjamb stickers.

      By contrast, Nissan Sentra quality took a dip when it moved from TN to Mexico.

  • avatar
    Mathias

    “I have an idea: We’ll make the Civic MORE PRACTICAL for hauling stuff.”

    And then Honda starts the process by cutting 15 inches off the rear or the car.

    Of course, it’s not just Honda. Everybody else does it the same way. Somebody give me an honest wagon, please!

    • 0 avatar
      Click REPLY to reload page

      Agreed, for sheer practicality, a good wagon is second to none.
      Unless you want a Subaru or a Ford Flex, the next best choice would be a small minivan, or a used Volvo.
      The good old practical breadbox has given way to the unnecessarily complicated and chaotic rear end of the UK-built Civic Hatchback.
      Somehow, Honda continues to sell cars in spite of their egregious and unnecessary shortcomings.

    • 0 avatar
      Trucky McTruckface

      This. In my experience, a hatchback is only useful the maybe two times a year the average person has to carry a mildly bulky object. The rest of the time, you’re just stuck with a substantially smaller trunk, which really sucks if you want to take a trip with more than one other person.

      For all the blathering on the internet from people who don’t actually buy things about how useful and versatile hatchbacks are, nobody mentions this.

  • avatar
    King of Eldorado

    If Honda’s idea of the hatchback appealing to “a different group of buyers” means they’re limiting this body style to tarted-up trim levels with blobby solid-mesh fake vents, driveway-scraping chin spoiler, and aero pieces tacked onto the rocker panels, then I’m losing interest. Take the current EX sedan, add the hatch, and I’m there.

  • avatar
    KOKing

    Honda seems to intentionally be working against the cannibalization factor by changing up the drivetrain and trim combos to target the ever elusive ‘younger demo’. Although it appears this has changed, my inside source told me at one point that there wasn’t going to be a base ‘LX’ trim. Considering historically hatches (Civics in particular prior to the EP) have had the bottom-feeder trims, who knows how this will work. But again, the apparent target demo doesn’t know about that history unless they’re a Honda fanboy… which leads me into…

    The Type R factor. So will the CTR being only in hatch guise, will it have a halo effct on the lower (and far less $$$) hatch trims? I don’t plan on coming home with anything other than the full-fat CTR (in Championship White with white wheels and red seats, please), that’s not going to work for everyone.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    This sounds like an attempt to deal with Honda’s excess capacity problem in Europe, not a plan to target some kind of under-served niche or pent-up demand in North America.

    The numbers are largely a byproduct of backing into the production issue. If this doesn’t work, then Honda will have to find some other way to fix its Europe problem.

  • avatar
    MeJ

    Man that thing is ugly. Have the designers never heard of the word “busy”.
    It seems like most Japanese cars nowadays were designed by kids who were just given a geometry set and told to knock themselves out.
    Too much…


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