Civic Type R Pan-European launch

In his first speech at the helm, new Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo has revealed a number of details regarding the company’s future direction and its upcoming models. The new “Team Honda,” he said, will pursue the advancement of the H brand’s six-region global operations structure, as well as the further development of “challenging products” that will be delivered to customers around the world.

First up, Honda will see its “unique” matrix management structure – building up production capacity and established sales, development and purchasing functions in the six regions, allowing them to develop exclusive models tailored to each region – expand to utilise regional production capacity for its entire global operations, with its main headquarters upgraded to facilitate inter-regional relationships.

This will leverage on the company’s flexible production system and optimise production allocation. We already know that the new NSX will be built at the Performance Manufacturing Centre in Ohio and exported worldwide, and that the British-built next-generation Civic hatchback (yes, including the Type R) will make its way Stateside.

Civic Concept

Now, it’s been divulged that Japan will be the source of some North American-market Fit (currently produced at the Celaya, Mexico plant) and European-market Jazz models, while Canada will be building next-gen CR-Vs destined for Europe. On the other side of the world, Nigeria will become the first African nation to assemble Honda vehicles, with local production of the Accord beginning this month; planned annual production is pegged at 1,000 units.

Even bigger news is that production of the current Civic Type R has begun in Swindon, UK (with a VTEC Turbo engine from Anna, Ohio, might we add), and the fiery 310 PS hot hatch will be sold in Japan starting this autumn. This raises the question about other export markets – could we perhaps see the return of the CTR through official channels for the first time since the departure of the sorely-missed FD2 sedan?

It’s all well and good talking about global production and exports, but it would be for nought without the new product to support it. To that end, Hachigo said that in addition to the upcoming tenth-gen Civic, Honda is also working on the next CR-V and Accord, which he promises will be “more attractive vehicles that feature more new technologies, higher competitiveness and innovative designs.”

Additionally, the company is also striving to bring to market its next-generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle – the successor to the FCX Clarity and based on last year’s FCV Concept – in Japan before the end of the current fiscal year on March 31, 2016.

Elsewhere, the CRF1000L dual-purpose adventure motorcycle is set to go on sale in Europe end-2015 (and North America and Japan at a later date), while a Walking Assist Device for people with weakened leg strength is being pushed to make its Japanese-market debut before the end of the year.

“I believe in Honda’s people, technological strengths and potential,” Hachigo said in closing. “My job is to establish a system that connects the strengths we derive from the challenging spirit of each and every one of the 200,000 Honda associates around the world to the dreams of our customers. What drives me forward with my fellow Honda associates is The Power of Dreams.”