Americans Still Love the Honda Civic in a Car Market Dominated by SUVs

Honda Civic in manufacturing plant
PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL /Getty

Americans still love their Honda Civics, despite a domestic auto market increasingly dominated by SUV’s and crossover vehicles. The Japanese car company plans to continue producing the cars in the United States and Canada.

Business Insider reported Tuesday on Honda documents showing that the Civic is the company’s undisputed champ, ranking as the top-selling passenger car in the U.S.

The report says Honda holds a nearly 18 percent share of the U.S. market for passenger cars, which refers to sedans and other vehicles that aren’t SUVs or trucks. The Japanese automaker noted that the Civic has outsold every SUV and crossover in the market, except the Toyota RAV4  and Honda’s own compact crossover, the CR-V.

These sales numbers buck the widespread industry belief that passenger cars are on the decline in the domestic auto market.

Passenger cars are generally less profitable for manufacturers than SUVs and pickups. But the Business Insider noted that Honda has been able to narrow the gap by selling Civics and Accords in large volumes.

Honda said it has sold more than 11.5 million Civics since 1973, and that brand loyalty is high, with the Civic seeing 400,000 repeat buyers between 2016 to 2018.

Business Insider noted that Civics are affordable for young and first-time car buyers at around $20,000 new.

The Trump administration has put pressure on automakers to keep manufacturing facilities in the U.S. or else face stiff tariffs.

Honda reported in January that its U.S. auto production in 2018  rose 2.7 percent to 1.24 million cars and light trucks from the previous year.

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