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Next Honda Civic hatch in doubt for Oz

Threatened: The new Honda Civic Si might be the last Civic hatch out of Europe for Australia.

High costs means Honda’s expected UK-built 2012 Civic hatch may miss Australia

8 Apr 2009

HONDA’S decision to again engineer and build the next-generation Civic hatch in Europe will effectively banish hope of the model coming to Australia as a mainstream product.

Honda Australia managing director and CEO Yasuhide Mizuno said the high cost of bringing the 2012 Civic hatch to Australia from Europe would not be alleviated.

But Mr Mizuno added that a business case could still be made if more countries outside Europe put up their collective hands for the British-built Civic hatch.

Currently, Australia is the car’s sole Southern Hemisphere destination.

“If (the next-generation Civic hatch) continues to be exclusive to Europe only, then we may face the same (pricing) issues,” Mr Mizuno told GoAuto at the Honda Odyssey launch in Victoria.

Mr Mizuno indicated that the chances of the next-generation Civic hatch coming to Australia also had been adversely affected by the economic crisis, which had led to falling sales, skyrocketing manufacturing costs and a likely higher ex-factory price tag.

“It may even get much worse because of the fall of sales due to the economic crisis, and amortisation and depreciation will be much heavier than previously,” he said.

15 center imageLeft: Civic Type R.

“If we can’t involve America, Japan or any other country, then it will be very difficult for us to have (the next Civic hatch).

“If the USA agrees ... then there will be a little bit of a brighter future for the hatch (for Australia).

“If the exchange rate improves … then we will be much more optimistic.” Mr Mizuno says that it is highly unlikely that Thailand would build the Civic hatch, as the Asian and North American regions preferred three-box sedans over two-box hatchbacks.

Meanwhile, a spokesman revealed that Japan could not get hold of the Civic Type R this year because of the four-month plant closure in Swindon, UK, which has also delayed the arrival of cars for the Australian market.

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