Fifty years ago this month, Honda held the global introduction of a fun and fuel-efficient three-door hatchback that would go on to change the automotive landscape forever – the Honda Civic. A half century later, with sales approaching 30 million globally and now in its 11th generation, Civic is the longest-running automotive nameplate in Honda history and the best-selling Honda automobile of all-time.
Since going on sale in America in early 1973, Civic’s 11 generations have consistently set the benchmark for the U.S. auto industry by delivering class-leading quality and reliability, outstanding fuel efficiency and low emissions, refined and responsive driving dynamics and top-class safety performance. This has earned the trust of American car buyers and a reputation as a segment-defining product. With U.S. sales of more than 12.3 million units, the vast majority produced in Honda’s North American auto plants*, Civic is one of the top three best-selling cars in America over the past five decades.
“Civic embodies Honda’s commitment to delivering clean, safe and fun products of the highest quality for each generation of car buyers. That’s been the magic of Civic and the key to its success for 50 years,” said Mamadou Diallo, vice president of Auto Sales at American Honda. “Civic is deeply woven into the fabric of American car culture and we are thankful for the loyalty and trust that our customers have placed in Honda and Civic over the last five decades.”
Civic is also one of the world’s most awarded cars of its generation, consistently collecting the industry’s top honors, including North American Car of the Year three times, Car and Driver magazine’s “10Best” honor eight times, and Motor Trend Car of the Year. And while Civic built its success through the loyalty of the baby boom generation, its popularity continues with younger buyers. Since 2011, Civic is the No. 1 vehicle among Millennial buyers, and has captured the most Gen Z, first-time, and multicultural buyers in the industry for the past six years.
A Half Century of Civic Excellence
- Civic is the longest-running automotive nameplate in Honda’s storied history, launched in Japan in 1972 and the U.S. in 1973
- Introduced in the U.S. in March of 1973, Civic is America’s third best-selling car over the past five decades with more than 12.3 million units sold
- Civic was the first vehicle to get the CVCC engine (1975), first engine to meet U.S. emission standard without the use of a catalytic converter
- Over its 11 generations Civic has been available in five body styles; 2-door coupe, 3-door hatchback, 4-door sedan, 5-door hatchback and wagon
- The Civic Si, a performance icon in the sport compact segment, was first introduced in 1986
- The first hybrid-electric powered Civic was introduced in Japan in 2001 and America in 2003
- Civic Type R, the pinnacle of Civic performance, was introduced in America in 2017
- Civic has dominated America’s compact car segment for 12 consecutive years and in 2021 captured one in four retail sales in the category
- Civic is the No. 1 vehicle among Millennial buyers since 2011 and has captured the most Gen Z, first-time, and multicultural buyers in the industry for the past six years.
- All-new 11th-generation Civic was named the 2022 North American Car of the Year
- Honda has produced* more than 11 million Civics in North America since the first Civic was built in in Ohio in 1986
- Today Civic is built in Honda plants in Greensburg, Indiana, Alliston, Ontario Canada and Japan*.
- All-new for 2023, Civic Type R will be the most powerful Civic ever offered in the U.S.
- An all-new hybrid-electric powered Civic will be introduced in the future
Celebrating Civic in America with the Honda Community
Honda is sharing the 50th Anniversary celebration of the iconic Civic with its community on the brand’s social media channels. Throughout the month of July, Honda fans can take a “Ride Through History,” starting with car influencer, Omar Rana, as he highlights Civic’s 50-year history in 50 seconds. The campaign culminates with a video series showcasing five decades of Civic, through five distinct chapters – from Civic’s debut in the 1970’s, to the all-new, 11th-gen Civic lineup, narrated by John Cena, the voice of the Honda brand. Fans can follow along at: https://honda.us/civic50.
Honda offers a full line of clean, safe, fun and connected vehicles sold through more than 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. Honda has the highest fleet average fuel economy and lowest CO2 emissions of any major full-line automaker in America, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)1 latest data. The award-winning Honda lineup includes the Civic, Insight, and Accord, along with the HR-V, CR-V, Passport and Pilot sport utility vehicles, the Ridgeline pickup and the Odyssey minivan. Honda’s electrified vehicle lineup includes the Accord Hybrid, CR-V Hybrid, Insight and, in the future, Civic Hybrid. In 2024, the Prologue SUV, Honda’s first volume battery-electric vehicle will join the lineup.
Honda has been producing automobiles in America for 40 years and currently operates 18 major manufacturing facilities in North America. In 2021, more than 95% of all Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. were made in North America.