The Honda Civic will soon go back on sale in the UK, following a period of unavailability while the firm reduced an extensive backlog.
The hatchback was launched last year to widespread acclaim and quickly became a strong seller for Honda. It was removed from sale when demand outstripped supply and waiting times climbed beyond six months.
Now Honda UK’s head of automobile, Rebecca Adamson, has told Autocar that the company is in a position to start taking orders for the hybrid hatchback once again.
“I’m really pleased to say in the next few weeks, we will be reopening the Civic order bank in the UK, because the information and the stability of the supply wasn’t there, but that’s absolutely coming back.
“We’re still building and we’re covering the back orders, but what we didn’t want to do was get to this epic [waiting list]. We’ve made a commitment of around a three-to-six-month lead time for any model at any time in our range. For me, I think three months is reasonable.
“When you say the order bank is closed, it’s not because we stopped building it. It’s because we didn’t want it out of control.”
Adamson explained that keeping lead times in check enables Honda to better meet customer expectations, saying: “At the point of ordering a car from us, the customer would know the price, the specification and the campaign (the APR and finance), and we would honour that”.
Her comments came as Honda’s European vice-president, Tom Gardner, acknowledged that the “wait time for the Civic is not acceptable, to be honest, so we’re working to improve that”.
While Honda has moved from a volume-driven to a profit-driven business model, securing more Civics will be key to reducing the backlog, but Gardner clarified this won’t affect the firm’s overall strategy.
He said: “We’ve got very strong order banks at the moment, and we’re trying to bring them down to an acceptable wait time for our customers, and we’re looking to secure more volume to do that. But we’re not driven by volume, we’re driven by the customer satisfaction we want to deliver.”