Honda to Invest $750 Million in Ontario for Next Civic

Honda Motor Co. will invest C$857 million ($750 million) over three years to retool three Alliston, Ontario, plants in preparation for the next generation of the popular Honda Civic compact car.

The Ontario government will contribute 10 percent of the total investment in the two assembly plants and engine plant. Honda investments in Canadian manufacturing now total more than C$3.9 billion, the company said in a statement. Tokyo-based Honda’s manufacturing campus in Ontario, which has the capacity to produce 390,000 Civic and CR-V models annually, will be the first in the world to produce the next generation Civic. About 4,000 people work at the complex.

“Honda Canada is signaling that Canada will be a major part of the North American production equation into the next decade,” said Michael Robinet, managing director at consultant IHS Automotive in Southfield, Michigan. “For a country to remain viable within a production framework, reinvestment is critical.”

Automakers such as Kia Motors Corp. and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG have looked to Mexico to squeeze more output amid rising demand. Low labor costs and favorable trade accords are drawing foreign auto producers to the country.

For the past 16 years, the Civic has ranked as Canada’s best-selling car model, the release said. It’s the fifth-best selling car in the U.S. this year through October, according to researcher Autodata Corp.

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