Honda delays Civic redesign
Automotive News -- May 17, 2010 - 12:01 am ET
LOS ANGELES -- Honda's redesigned Civic will not arrive until 2011,
well past the typical five-year product cadence that would have landed
the next-generation subcompact in dealer showrooms this fall.
Changing market conditions and tougher fuel economy and emissions
regulations affected the development of the upcoming Civic, John
Mendel, American Honda Motor Co.'s executive vice president, said in
Mendel said the next Civic would come next year, although he declined
to give a specific month. The current Civic debuted in September 2005.
"In general, we are not changing cycles," he said. "We change vehicles
as need be. The ability to do something based on more current
information is better than waiting a full model cycle. Some of that is
being able to have the opportunity to change [based on] what you see
happening in the marketplace."
At the Tokyo auto show last October, Honda Motor Co. COO Tsuneo Tanai
said the redesign had been altered midstream. The next Civic was
planned to be larger than the current model. But its exterior has been
resized closer to the current one, Tanai said.
The Civic sells about 1 million cars a year globally, with the United
States accounting for about one-third of that.
Despite the delay, the Civic-based CR-V crossover is expected to stick
to a five-year cycle. The current CR-V debuted in the fall of 2006;
the redesign will arrive next year, Mendel said.
This would not be the first time a major Japanese carmaker has
extended the life cycle of a core model. Toyota delayed the scheduled
2007 redesign of its U.S.-edition Corolla compact by a year because
engineering resources were spread too thin. Although incentive
spending increased in that final year, Corolla sales remained strong,
and Toyota judged the decision to have been a good one.