Honda to Speed Up Civic Redesign, In Response To Growing Criticism

By Blake Z. Rong | October 31, 2011
Hey, don’t say Honda doesn’t keep their fingers firmly on the pulse of the automotive zeitgeist. With much criticism directed toward the 2012 Civic, Honda is fast-tracking an upgraded model a year early, to 2013. The current Civic was due for a refresh in the spring of 2014, but engineers are now putting in double-time for the Civic’s mid-cycle update. John Mendel, the vice president for American Honda, says it could happen as soon as 2013. "I don't know how much we can do, and how quickly," said Mendel. "But the comments of Consumer Reports and our customers have not gone unnoticed. We are appropriately energized." The Civic was originally intended for a full redesign in 2009, before the little trouble with the economy, and the 2012 Civic is a product of the economic downturn: it was quickly retooled and de-contented to appeal to budget-minded consumers as a sign of the times. Too bad the media, and other car companies, didn’t follow suit with this mindset: a now-infamous Consumer Reports review took the Civic off its vaunted “Recommended” list, and there’s tough competition from the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra. According to research groups, consumer interest for the new Civic was at its highest in June, when it was launched. But it dipped sharply thereafter, which is unusual for a Honda product.
We’ve expended plenty of pixels about Honda’s troubles before, and lagging sales and stock prices have placed even more of an emphasis on them getting this right. The Civic, after all, is one of Honda’s most important vehicles, and the current Civic’s tacky interior and average dynamics are in dire need of this accelerated redesign. Source: Automotive News