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Honda Celebrates 50 Years of the Fun, Efficient, Iconic and Best-selling Civic

July 18, 2022 — TORRANCE, Calif.

  • Civic is all-time best-selling Honda automobile with global sales approaching 30 million
  • With more than 12.3 million in U.S. sales since its debut in 1973, Civic is America’s best-selling small car over the last five decades1
  • Honda has produced more than 11 million Civics in North America since 1986
  • 11th-generation Civic earned 2022 North American Car of the Year honors


Fifty years ago, 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 buyers2, and has captured the most Gen Z, first-time, and multicultural buyers in the industry for the past six years3.

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 sold4
  • 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 category5
  • 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
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

50 Years of Honda Sketches

1 Source: Wards Intelligence cumulative U.S. light vehicle sales among passenger cars, 1972-2022CYTD June
2 Source: Strategic Vision New Vehicle Experience Study, 2011-2021
3 Source: Strategic Vision New Vehicle Experience Study, 2016-2021
4 Source: Wards Intelligence cumulative U.S. light vehicle sales among passenger cars, 1972-2022CYTD June
5 Source: Urban Science DataHub, retail sales data in Compact Car segment 2010-2021CY
6 2021 EPA Automotive Trends Report
*Using domestic and globally-sourced parts
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