There is no denying that the European auto market is taking its lumps right now – just ask Peugeot – but Honda might be taking this downturn on the chin a little harder than some of the other Japanese automakers doing business on the continent. Automotive News Europe is reporting that things have gotten so bad for Honda that it will be cutting 800 workers from Swindon, England plant that builds the CR-V, Civic and Jazz (a.k.a. Fit). This will be the first time Honda has made such cuts in more than 20 years.

Despite an increase in output last year over 2011 (165,607 units compared to 97,459), the Swindon plant is still running well below its full capacity (250,000/year), and its 66 percent capacity is less than the expected breakeven point of industry analysts (75 to 80 percent). Unlike in the US, however, Honda's new CR-V and Civic aren't selling well, and the similarly sized Nissan Qashqai is outselling the CR-V at a rate of more than five to one. Slow CR-V sales are blamed on a relatively high price and the crossover's conservative styling. On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, the report notes that Nissan continues to experience growth at its UK operations, leading analysts to suggest that Honda can't blame the sour economy for much of its woes.


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  • 245 Comments
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        thequebecerinfrance
        • 1 Year Ago
        The civic has had a diesel for quite a while now. But the new Civic is too generic and it's engine low output considering it's does not help. And the CR-V is ugly. The Honda Jazz (Fit here) does not stand a chance because it does have a diesel. People want diesels even if sometimes it does not make sense. That 1.3 liter engine is too low on power compared even to a small diesel.
          Dr Zoidberg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @thequebecerinfrance
          New diesels have their own problems with DPF and DMF, oh and EGRs. They are therefore not suited to city/town driving which is where a Fit/Jazz will spend most of its time. Honda has always had an image problem in the UK. It has difficulty attracting younger buyers. The styling currently does not help it in any way combat this.
        May
        • 1 Year Ago
        Toyota has plenty of diesels in Europe but their cars are bland and expensive to buy and cheap inside. Hybrids are waste of time and money because for example basic Prius costs about as much as Audi A3 2.0 TDI, the most expensive one as much as BMW 520d (184hp) with automatic transmission.
      TBN27
      • 1 Year Ago
      different region, different tastes.
        luigi.tony
        • 1 Year Ago
        @TBN27
        That, and Europe is fixated on Diesels. Small diesels. And Europe is BROKE. People want cheap disposable cars like Nissans and KIAs.
          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @luigi.tony
          the only part you talk that make sense is the diesel, Nissans are not cheap in Europe, it compete in price range with Honda as it does in USA.
          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @luigi.tony
          cheap in maintenance, nissan are not cheap in price, but cheaper than honda in some vehicles troll does this look like nissan is cheap to you? the crv cost $21000 -$31000 the Xtrail $25,000-$31000 http://www.whatcar.com/car-reviews/nissan/x-trail-4x4/summary/25728-3/ http://www.whatcar.com/car-reviews/honda/cr-v-4x4/summary/26098-3/
          • 1 Year Ago
          @luigi.tony
          [blocked]
      The Ed
      • 1 Year Ago
      The headline of this article hurts my head.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      intence
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is there any surprise here? Honda has managed to take much of the fun out their cars. Dual-Wishbone suspension, hot-hatches, the S2000, Acura Integra, Acura Legend Coupe (available w/manual transmission). Now we're left with an increasingly boring lineup of pedestrian vanilla-mobiles. Honda has lost their way for quite some time, and their sales are finally starting to reflect this.
        tiguan2.0
        • 1 Year Ago
        @intence
        So how many S2000s were sold in Europe? I don't think ANY Legend Coupes were sold in Europe? How many Acura Integras where sold in Europe? Based on your argument, how many sales did Honda lose this year based on no S2000, Legend Coupe, and Integra?
      mbukukanyau
      • 1 Year Ago
      I see these fugly things on the freeway. I am thinking, dude, you could be driving a cool escape or the awesome equinox.
        DK
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        And here is NightFlight to tell you his opinion is more important than yours...
        NightFlight
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        CRV >>>> Equinox It isn't even a competition.
      rsxvue
      • 1 Year Ago
      Maybe it's because driving dynamics, looks, and performance are more important to the average European buyer whereas the avg US buyer is ok with driving an appliance. But i guess that argument doesn't explain why the Nissan is selling better.
        desinerd1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rsxvue
        Their culture is very different from ours. They don't care about design, build quality, reliability, comfort, or features. That's why most of their cars suck.
          3szoom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @desinerd1
          That's a really idiotic thing to say. Have you ever wondered why must of the worst styled cars by the Japanese automakers are US only (ie Camry- not saying they're bad cars, just bland)? How about that almost every Euro car sold in the US is decontented?
          lordedardstark1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @desinerd1
          I was thinking the complete opposite, and I feel others think the same...
        Monkaroo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rsxvue
        That is absolutely wrong sir. There are many Americans that care about performance. Remember this is the land of the muscle car and muscle trucks if you would have it. And I would bet more luxury and performance cars are sold here than anywhere in the world. Honda targets a specific buyer it just so happens the imports styling is not to the liking of many Europeans.
          Monkaroo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Monkaroo
          Oh forgot to mention. Many of those tiny petrol and diesel engine options that are offered in Europe would never sell here because they have minimal performance. I think I watched a European test drive of a 2012 Lexus GS offered with a tiny 2.5 liter V6...yikes!
      Lou
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm alone, but I think the current CR-V is quite an improvement over the outgoing one, and that Qashqai looks awful.
        Jamie Elmhirst
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Lou
        Very true until you get to the back-end. Very jarring and ill-advised. BUT they will still sell like hotcakes because they are highly functional, pleasant to drive and have a sterling reputation. I sell cars for a living and there are far more folks who come through the door clutching a copy of Consumer Reports than a copy of Car and Driver. There are far more people who come with a measuring tape to make sure their dog carriers will fit in the back than ask about 0-60 times. The average car buyer bears NO RESEMBLANCE to folks who read and post on this site.
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Lou
        have you seen one in in real life or internet? I have and it dos not look awful
          NightFlight
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          I have in person, they don't look great.
          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          perception got better of some people because it is a nissan is suppose to look worst and have poor reliability than CR-V , but the reality is that it have better reliability and it looks ok, and comes with a nice 4x4 system.
          NightFlight
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          @ chanonissan False.
      chanonissan
      • 1 Year Ago
      the CR-V have had a hard time because it offer no good option, only one gas eater power train. it might have better interior material but the qashqai interior is also good quality and the reliability also beats out CR-V so overall the Qashqai is a better value. http://www.whatcar.com/car-reviews/used/honda/cr-v-4x4/full-review/25628-3 http://www.whatcar.com/car-reviews/nissan/qashqai-crossover/summary/25583-5/ The qashqai offer more option 2.0 liter gas, 1.5 diesel, 1.6 diesel The qashqai is known 'as the king of urban vehicle' because of it high fuel efficiency. best fuel economy on the market, cuv offer car mileage performance good quality material and reliability
        • 1 Year Ago
        @chanonissan
        [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          the qashqai and Xtrails are very old when they get they are redesign then you can compare the honda CR-V to them. The honda civic with the new 1.6 i dtec was already review and it did not beat out rivals such as ford focus and vw golf. http://www.whatcar.com/car-news/2013-honda-civic-1-6-i-dtec-review/264785
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @chanonissan
        forget to mention the CRV, it also offer a 2.2 diesel
      twofingersneak
      • 1 Year Ago
      Of course its not just the economy that's causing Honda troubles; they've diluted themselves into oblivion. Name one thing that Honda offers that differentiates it from its competitors now? It used to be "quality" and even "performance" back in the day, but those have gone by the wayside in favor of being pedestrian. They don't build anything more higher-quality than anyone else does now (their competition responded), and they certainly don't build anything more higher-performing than anyone else does either. For years and years, they set the bar and kept raising the bar for simple, high-quality performance...and then they all of a sudden just stopped raising the bar. They literally haven't brought something actually fresh and new to the market in quite possibly a decade.
        whofan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @twofingersneak
        The Ridgeline is unique. Unique doesn`t neccessarly sell. Honda raises the bar but so does the competition and now the bars are even. If Honda would redesign the Ridgeline to be more truck like without the angled bed rails and then give it some gas mileage they will have a winner. So you are right in part that Honda needs to tweek what they do have now.
        twofingersneak
        • 1 Year Ago
        @twofingersneak
        i didn't use the word "unique" on purpose because its a throwaway word and is (wrongly) used interchangeably with words like "interesting" and "chic". "unique" should only be used to describe a vehicle that is more than a marginal improvement over the status quo. like the Accord was. and the Civic was. and the MX-5 was. and the Quattro was. and the ridgeline isn't - and wasn't really ever - unique ; the domestics have been making 4-door pickups since the mid 90's, and they have sold relatively well. what made the ridgeline almost unique at the time was that it (kinda) drove like a car and was relatively passenger oriented while still offering open-box utility. I'll give you +10 internets for mentioning the FCX Clarity though. That's more than unique - hell, that may even be the most important step improvement ever in automotive technology. kinda sucks that Honda has done next to nothing to promote the technology to establish itself as a relevant manufacturer. i mean, they have the vehicle in their hands that can single-handedly steer the conversation about alternative fuel vehicles away from dead-end battery-assist technologies....but they aren't doing jack with it. how many people would really know about the FCX Clarity if not for a Top Gear vignette or a writeup or two in a car mag? how many casual auto enthusiasts even know about it? hell, how many hybrid/alt-fuel hippies even know it exists, let alone what it is and what it represents?
      untitledfolder
      • 1 Year Ago
      Because Honda couldn't build anything exciting to save their lives? That ship sailed sometime in the late 90's.
        NightFlight
        • 1 Year Ago
        @untitledfolder
        I'd give it mid-2000's. Don't forget the RSX and S2000.
      telm12345
      • 1 Year Ago
      As long as they keep selling Crosstours, this will continue. That car is a statement to their mindset. This, looking at it now, is not much better.
        tiguan2.0
        • 1 Year Ago
        @telm12345
        I could be wrong, but they don't sell the Crosstour in Europe. They do in Russia and China.
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