• Kyodo

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A new hatchback version of the Honda Civic to be produced at a British plant will go on sale in North America in early 2002, a U.S. unit of Honda Motor Co. said Wednesday.

The Civic Si Hatchback, to be manufactured at the Honda of the U.K. Manufacturing Ltd. plant in Swindon, western England, is based on the three-door hatchback recently introduced in Europe, American Honda Motor Co. said in a statement. The company plans to ship some 15,000 units of the new model per year from Britain to North America.

“This new model plays two relatively small but important roles in the Civic lineup by meeting consumer demands for a hatchback and the return of the Si,” said Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda.

Honda first introduced Civic Si models in 1986. After a hiatus, the Civic Si reappeared for 1999 and 2000 models in coupe form.

Honda has announced plans to export its CR-V compact sport utility vehicle from its British plant to the North American market beginning early next year. Honda of the U.K. Manufacturing also plans to start exporting its three-door Civic to Japan from around the same time.

Honda in India

Honda Motor Co. said Thursday its Indian subsidiary, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (Private) Ltd., has commenced producing its first scooter.The wholly owned subsidiary began making the 100cc Honda Activa at a plant near Delhi 18 months after the company was established in October 1999.

The Honda Activa, fitted with a four-stroke engine, will go on sale in July, the company said. The firm’s production capacity is 100,000 scooters a year.

Honda said it is targeting annual sales of 1.75 million two-wheel vehicles in India by fiscal 2003. The figure represents 25 percent of Honda’s global target of 7 million two-wheelers, set in May.

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