Thanks to the spiraling costs associated with building cars in Japan and shipping them to the U.S., Honda has announced that the 2013 Civic Hybrid will be made in the U.S.
Currently made in Japan and shipped to customers in North America, the U.S. version of the four-door compact hybrid sedan will commence at Honda’s Indiana manufacturing facility early next year.
Identical to the current Civic Hybrid -- which underwent a total redesign for 2012 -- the 2013 Civic Hybrid should match the 2012 Civic Hybrid’s 44 mpg EPA rating for both city and highway driving.
Honda says it has invested $40 million in its Indiana production facilities to increase its annual production to 250,000 cars per year.
It also plans to hire 300 new production staff later this year in preparation for the increased production.
2012 Honda Civic Hybrid, road test, Spring 2011
2012 Honda Civic Hybrid, road test, Spring 2011Enlarge Photo
The facility, which already produces the 2012 Civic Sedan and 2012 Civic Natural Gas, already has experience with hybrid production.
Since April this year, the facility has been making U.S.-market 2012 Acura ILX Hybrids.
Despite outwards appearances, the two cars share a common platform, engine and mild-hybrid drivetrain.
The move will mark the first time the Civic Hybrid sedan has been made outside of Japan since it launched in 2001.
Production of its European sibling, the 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid hatchback, is being moved to Swindon, England.
There’s no details yet on how the change of production facility will affect the 2013 Civic Hybrid’s price, although from past experience domestically-produced cars tend to be cheaper than ones manufactured overseas.