Honda Announces Closure of Sole UK Plant
The sole production site of the Honda Civic Hatchback and Type R will close by the end of 2021, Honda told UK employees on Tuesday.
Honda’s Swindon facility, built on the site of a former WW2 aircraft factory, began building Accords for the UK and European markets in 1992, adding the popular Civic to the mix two years later. Amid a turbulent time for trade and auto sales, Honda plans to shutter the facility, throwing 3,500 employees out of work and leaving the future of the Civic Hatch and its variants in question.
Report: Honda Set to Shutter UK Plant, Home of the Civic Type R
Honda builds Civics in a number of locales, but Americans know of Honda’s Swindon, UK assembly plant mainly because of the Civic Type R. After years spent shunning the North American market, the automaker finally sent ships loaded with hi-po front-drivers across the Atlantic for the 2017 model year.
Swindon handles production of all Civic hatch models, leaving plants in the U.S. and Canada to handle sedan and coupe builds. It seems all those hatches, hot and less so, will need to find a new home after 2021.
Honda Pulls Back the Veil on a Less-retro Urban EV
We’ve gone from concept vehicle to prototype, but Honda’s upcoming Urban EV — a pint-sized commuter that’s arguably the first mainstream electric to garner legitimate youth enthusiasm — is no closer to coming to North America. It’s also less retro than its show car predecessor, but no one expected that trillion-inch flatscreen to make it to production.
Oh, you’ll still have screens galore, though.
QOTD: What Brand Would You Rep?
A thought struck me the other day – since joining TTAC, I’ve liked just about every Honda I’ve reviewed. I even found little fault with the Clarity, which I was otherwise neutral towards.
That doesn’t mean I like every Honda. I drove the Fit for 10 minutes at a media event last fall (no review … 10 minutes isn’t enough time) and while I found it pleasant, it didn’t resonate with me the way the first-gen car did. The HR-V is fine, but I don’t think it would be my first choice in that class. I have yet to drive the CR-V and Pilot.
Realizing that I like most of Honda’s present offerings, I started wondering. Were I to work for an automaker, forced to switch vehicles every 60 or 90 days in order to cycle through the lineup, which brand has a roster I like enough that I’d want to rotate completely through?
Honda's New Passport Arrives at an Opportune Time
No, not just because American buyers open their wallets for anyone hawking a high-riding vehicle; rather, because an influx of cash would help stabilize Honda’s balance sheet.
The automaker’s global profits took a 40 percent haircut in the fiscal quarter ending December 31, with net income falling 71 percent in the same time frame. North America wasn’t a fiscal fortress, either. While a new crossover that straddles segment boundaries isn’t the cure for all that ails Honda, it’s anything but hindrance.
Honda's Starting to Sound a Lot Like Toyota
Of all the automakers populating this vast land, none display quite same the level of guarded optimism for the passenger car’s future as Toyota. Two years ago, if you recall, it boldly declared that its new Camry might save the midsize sedan segment. Well, there’s now a new entry in the rose-colored glasses race.
Honda feels that public distrust in the ability of a four-door sedan to carry occupants to their intended destination has pretty much bottomed out.
2018 Honda Civic Type R Review - It's Still All That
My first press trip as the M.E. at this august website had me driving the Honda Civic Type R on a track outside Seattle. And on road, as well. I pronounced it worthy of the hype.
So naturally, I had to see how it handled the daily grind. There’d be no track driving – I asked, but Honda would’ve needed to do special prep, so that was a no-go – so treks to the grocery store and the suburbs would have to suffice.
Was it still “all that?” In a word, yes.
2019 Honda Passport First Drive - Passport to Sales
Honda really wants to prove that its 2019 Passport five-seat crossover has off-road chops.
To that end, it’s possible I had more wheel time on washboard-surfaced gravelly roads than I did on paved surfaces during my day with the newest trucklet on the block. Some of this was by my choice – I chose to get more time off-road for the sake of photos. Still, Honda definitely wanted to show that the Passport is capable off-road.
Which it was, at least on the route we drove. Frankly, most crossovers with decent ground clearance would’ve survived our trek through the cold and sunny high desert, although two of the Passport’s benchmarked competitors, the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano, might not be included in that “most.” More on that in a bit.
Thing is, and this refrain dates back to the earliest days of the SUV – few buyers will ever take the Passport off-road. Few buyers of any vehicle in this class take their rigs off-road. Only the owners of the highly capable Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota 4Runner are likely to, and even then, I’d bet the percentage who actually do is small.
Why all the hullabaloo from Honda about off-roading, then? Is the Passport truly on par with the JGC and the ‘Yota when out in the sticks? Is the Passport so bad on-road that Honda emphasized off-road driving? Or did someone on Honda’s PR team just really want to see southern Utah?
Honda Urban EV Prototype to Debut in Geneva
Back in 2017, Honda debuted its adorable Urban EV Concept, a vehicle that ended up becoming the belle of the Frankfurt Auto Show. Its cheeky design was suitably modern while still adhering to traditional automotive models. In fact, the car seems styled in a manner that’s intentionally reminiscent of the first-generation Civic.
Having already promised a production version for the European market, Honda has issued an update on the vehicle’s progress. The automaker recently confirmed it will show a new prototype of the Urban EV at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show in March, ahead of a production model slated to debut later this year. It also provided a teaser sketch of the model (above), proving that Honda doesn’t want to alter the cute little car more than it needs to.
QOTD: Which Entrant Is Losing at the Game of Trucks?
You hear it time and time again on the internet. “There are no bad cars today.” It’s proclaimed by those who lived through the Malaise Era and have personally experienced the build quality and reliability of an new Renault Le Car or Chevy Monza. And while things are most definitely better than they were, nothing’s perfect. Bring out your critical fingertips.
Honda Dream Drive: In-car Shopping, Marketing, Gamification
Expanding on last year’s concept, Honda is reintroducing “Dream Drive” for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Previously a platform intended to provide passengers with augmented and virtual reality experiences, Double D now focuses primarily on in-car purchases. In fact, the service seems identical to General Motors’ Marketplace.
That’s right, Honda is entering the dark realm of in-car consumerism and twisted corporate partnerships.
TTAC Staff Thoughts on the Best and Worst Cars of 2018
A little over a month ago, we ran the results of our best/ worst cars of 2018 poll. At the end of each post, I reflected a bit on the results, but I wanted to dig a bit deeper.
While I had hoped to do this a bit sooner, other work got in the way. So Steph and I decided it would be a good way to close out the year.
QOTD: Best Wishes for Future Success?
It’s that special holiday time of year again. For a few short weeks, people go out of their way to be nice to others, and to wish one another the best in the upcoming new year. While the niceness still abounds, we want to know which car manufacturer receives your well-wishes for the future.
The Possibility of a Hotter Honda HR-V Emerges
Suffice it to say no one was talking about Honda’s HR-V subcompact crossover until this news broke. It sells well, quite well, but the little ute — like most subcompact crossovers — may as well be invisible.
What are people suddenly talking about? The emergence of an HR-V Sport on the other side of the Atlantic, boasting a turbocharged 1.5-liter VTEC four-cylinder that’s good for 180 horsepower — just like the one found in the Civic Sport.
2019 Honda Passport - Only the Name Is Old
LOS ANGELES – Chevrolet brought the Blazer name back, and Ford is about to bring back the Bronco. What’s next, a Honda Passport?
That’s not a joke – the company really is resurrecting the Passport moniker. It will be slapped on an all-new five-seat crossover for the 2019 model year.