Honda of Canada is planning a three-year capital improvement program in preparation for production of a redesigned Honda Civic, a car that has been the best-selling sedan in Canada for 16 consecutive years. According to the automaker’s release, the project is budgeted at $754 million (C$857 million.)
Honda of Canada Inc. is a division of Honda Canada Inc., and operates two assembly plants and an engine plant at Alliston, Ont. There, it produces 390,000 vehicles per year (Civic and CR-V).
Honda of Canada began manufacturing the Honda Accord at Alliston in 1986, switched to producing the Honda Civic in 1988, and added the second assembly line in 1998. The aluminum engine plant was installed in 2008. The complex has about 4,000 workers.
The new project will brings Honda’s total manufacturing investments in Canada to over $3.4 billion (C$3.9 billion) since 1986. The Ontario government will contribute 10% of the total new investment at the Alliston assembly and engine plants.
Production volume for the new vehicle was not known. The automaker has not announced details of the new Civic, which currently is expected for the 2016 model year. It is anticipated to be a “global” car (a common design for North America, European, and Asian markets), with a hybrid-fuel option and a sport compact variant.
According to Honda of Canada, Alliston will be the first plant (or “global lead plant) in Honda’s organization to produce the new Honda Civic. It will be the first time a Honda plant outside Japan has been designated as such. Some unaffiliated sources had earlier speculated that the new Civic would be built in the U.S. (Honda builds Civic sedans at East Liberty, Ohio), and that the Alliston operations would concentrate on small SUVs.
As the lead plant, Alliston will be responsible for developing manufacturing processes and tooling trials that will be the basic manufacturing program for the new Civic at all Honda plants globally. The investments will allow Honda to adopt “innovative technologies and processes” at all three Alliston plants, the automaker stated.
“We are deeply proud to be the lead plant for the next generation of Honda Civic, a designation that reflects the incredible efforts of Honda associates over the past quarter century to produce products of the highest quality for our customers in Canada and around the world,” stated Honda Canada Inc. president and CEO Jerry Chenkin. “This marks the first time a Honda plant outside Japan has been designated as a ‘global lead plant’, which reflects the knowledge and experience of our Canadian associates.”