Honda Gearing Up for Increased Civic Production in Ontario

Published on October 4, 2023 in News by Guillaume Rivard

One of the biggest automotive stories of 2022 was the Honda Civic losing its title of best-selling car in Canada after 24 years, its 29,722 units being surpassed by the Toyota Corolla’s 33,096. So far in 2023, the latter still leads Canadian sales.

Of course, the Civic is no longer the cheap vehicle it used to be. From $20,170 in 2020 (including destination), the compact sedan has jumped to $28,743 for 2024, with the top-line Touring model sitting at $36,445. And that’s not counting the sporty Civic Si or the practical Civic Hatchback.

Honda Canada assures that demand remains strong, especially in Quebec and a few other provinces. Reduced production is what drove sales down in 2022, as COO Dave Jamieson reiterated to Automotive News Canada this week.

Photo: Antony Lajoie-Beaudoin

In 2019, the year before the pandemic, Honda’s Alliston plant in Ontario built nearly 200,000 Civics for the North American market. Last year, output dropped 37 percent to 123,322 units.

While production continues to be a challenge, Jamieson acknowledged, Honda Canada is working to ramp up production back to normal. However, there are no plans to bring back low-price entry-level models, because the automaker simply cannot afford them, he said.

Sure, the Civic is significantly more expensive than a few years ago, but the same can be said about a number of vehicles across the industry, including SUVs. With today’s high interest rates, some consumers are looking to go back to cars in order to save money.

Speaking of saving, this time at the gas station, don’t forget that Honda Canada has confirmed the return of the Civic Hybrid. We still don’t know exactly when it will launch in Canada, though. Expect the design to be nearly identical to that of the regular Civic and the powertrain to be somewhat different from the one in the European-spec Civic Hybrid.

As reported in March 2022, Honda will spend $1.38 billion over six years to upgrade its Alliston facilities to produce high-volume hybrids.

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