* Civic could be developed in Ohio R&D center-spokesman
* Current Civic sedan shunned by critics
* Honda also mulling Accord development in U.S.-Nikkei
TOKYO, Nov 26 Honda Motor Co is
considering developing the next generation of the Civic in the
United States rather than Japan, a spokesman said, after the
last version of the automaker's popular sedan was panned by
North America accounts for half of total Civic sales.
The 2012 Civic, Honda's third-best selling model last year
after the CR-V and the Accord, was criticised for having an
uninspired design and a bumpy ride.
"Localising Civic development (in the United States) is
among various factors we are considering. Generally speaking,
Honda wants to develop cars locally where we sell them," said
Satoshi Takami, a Honda spokesman based in Tokyo.
The Nikkei business daily reported earlier on Monday that
Honda would develop both the next generation Civic and Accord
sedans in the United States. Both are set to go on sale around
Honda is considering developing the next generation Civic at
its Research and Development (R&D) centre in Ohio, rather than
in Tochigi, Japan, Takami said, adding that nothing has been
decided on the Accord.
The engineers based in Ohio could be charged with developing
the Civic's body and the interior, while engineers at Tochigi
are likely to continue developing engines and other core parts.
Honda is set to unveil the facelifted 2013 Civic on Thursday
at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Chief Executive Takanobu Ito has been pushing for more
involvement of engineers from outside Japan, aiming to reflect
different demands of customers worldwide.
(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)