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Honda's rushed Civic refresh could spell consumer savings

Leaked internal memo reveals pressure on dealers to move 2012 models to make way for the revamped 2013.

By Douglas Newcomb Oct 25, 2012 5:45AM

2012 Hinda Civic. Photo by Honda.If you're shopping for a compact car, it's a good time to consider a new Honda Civic -- before an even newer Civic comes out next month.

Honda will debut a significantly refreshed Civic for the 2013 model year, less than two years into the current generation's life cycle. Typically, a car's midlife update won't appear for several years after a new model debuts, and Honda's unprecedented reaction is in response to the widespread negative press that the perennially popular car received upon its introduction. In a letter to U.S. dealers, David Hendley, the automaker's assistant vice president of national sales, said the refresh would allow the Civic to "reign once again as the benchmark of the small-car segment."

In spite of the negative press reception -- including Consumer Reports last year labeling the 2012 Civic “a car to avoid” -- dealers have moved 234,029 units this year through September, besting the Toyota Corolla as the top-selling compact car. But Honda's obsession to keep top-car status could spell savings for consumers who would be just as content with the 2012 model.

Hendley asked dealers to reduce their inventory of 2012 Civics by 60 percent or more before Dec. 1. The letter also states that the 2013 Civic will go on sale on Nov. 29, which coincides with the press days of the Los Angeles Auto Show and the typical end-of-the-month sales frenzy.


The 2013 model promises sportier exterior styling, and the interior will receive "upgrades and improvements to bring more sophistication and quality to its appearance," Hendley said in his letter. According to an earlier announcement by American Honda President Tetsuo Iwamura, changes will be made to "improve the Civic's drivability," perhaps addressing the suspension and powertrain shortcomings of the 2012 model.


If you can live without these refinements, chances are you can save on the outgoing model -- or at least maybe compare the two during the last two days of November, when Honda dealers will really be under pressure to move the older metal.


[Source: Autoblog]

Oct 25, 2012 7:13AM
With the Focus, Cruze, Elantra and now Dart Honda was forced to do something.  Small cars are becoming better and better.  Reliability is no longer a factor when smart consumers do their research and see this.  Consumers want substance, value, character, style in a small car.  Looks like manufacturers are listening.
Oct 25, 2012 6:54AM

Good for Honda.  Admit they have a flop and move one to something better.  I wouldn't be surprised to see them do the same thing with the new CR-V.


Unfortunately, they don't seem to be using the same strategy with their Acura brand....

Oct 25, 2012 2:45PM
What's wrong  Hon-Duh ?  Current Civic putting too many people to sleep ?  Let's hope you don't bring another SNOZZER to market !!!
Oct 26, 2012 5:33AM
Reliability will ALWAYS be a factor to consider for smart buyers. Who wants a car that has an average or poor reliability rating? No one. Will many brands/models of cars sell because they look nice and have nice features even if their reliability is poor? Yup. There will always be the masses that buy with their eyes instead of their heads. This is what keeps GM afloat!
  I just spent an hour with a friend the other day that was asking my opinion on a car that she had already made up her mind about purchasing. When I recommended doing some research about reliability, quality, cost of ownership, it went right out of the window, she was going to buy it because she "liked it", even though she knew absolutely nothing about the vehicle.
  I would buy a dull looking car that has great, proven reliability over a flashy, comfy car that does not every day of the week. Don't even have to mull it over. I remember the days when I used to be shelling out money to repair shops and tow trucks, it has been many years now but throwing that money away, sitting around in the repair shops, missing work, being lied to by service managers (some which were embarrassed when I proved them wrong or actually caught them in a lie),all of the frustration, will not be forgotten.
Oct 26, 2012 11:38AM

Correct insert random name.........the same problem with Toyota. Today their quality at best is is on par with other manufacturers and only all to soon Toyota with which most everybody concurs find dull, boring and will be the first to drop off their shopping list.

Oct 26, 2012 12:43AM
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Oct 25, 2012 7:27AM
What's wrong with the CRV?IT's  faster,roomier,less road noise and better MPG  than the outgoing model
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