2012 Civic expected to double Honda sales

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 20, 2011

The main selling point for the new Honda Civic isn’t just the design, according to CEO Takanobu Ito. He claims that the new Civic is more advanced than any of its rivals. However, industry observers think that one disadvantage is that it doesn’t have turbocharging in the petrol range.

Its blocks are also not appealing considering that the trend now is for downsizing. Honda has set a target to sell 100,000 units on average each year. This is more than double this year of what’s expected this year.

He said that since this model has a drastically different performance and fuel efficiency, it’s expecting a high volume, says Ward's Auto. The five-door Civic will be competing against the Ford Focus, which comes with a new generation of smaller EcoBoost engines.

The Civic will also go up against the VW Golf. Ito said that the new Civic is available with a choice of two petrols and one turbodiesel. The base 1.4-liter generates 100hp and has a fuel economy rating of 5.4 liters per 100 km, while emitting just 129 grams of CO2 per kilometer.

Meanwhile, the 1.8-liter petrol delivers 142hp and may come with an automatic gearbox. It has a fuel consumption rating of 5.8 liters for the manual and 6.3 for the automatic. The 2.2-liter i-DTEC diesel with an output of 150hp uses up just 4.2 liter of fuel per 100 km. Essentially, they’re still the old engines but they have been modified to be more fuel-economic and have less emissions.

The current Honda Civic -- first introduced in 2006 – was underpinned by a platform derived from a "center tank" layout created to provide certain practical benefits like a large cabin space that should appeal to Europe's "C" category customers. As a result, the Honda Civic managed to gain positive feedback in certain areas like design and versatility or practicality. These responses helped define the current Civic as a car having 'road presence' with its 'futuristic looks.'

These responses also helped defined the current Civic as having a 'multi-purpose' function featuring large boot space and multiple seat layouts thanks to its so-called 'magic seats'. All of these attributes and characteristics of the current Honda Civic were carefully considered by the carmaker’s development team, which decided not to discard these qualities and remained committed to maintain and improve them.

The development team sought to come up with a new emotional design that could provide the needed thrill while at the same time providing the sought-after roominess and other practical features. Likewise, the development team sought a design that could enhance the visibility as well as widen the field of vision to augment the overall ownership experience.

In terms of interior space and trunk capacity, the current Honda Civic is one of the best in its class. All the development team needed to do was to maintain such superior interior space while further enhancing the Civic’s space efficiency and overall packaging.

Thanks to this renewed focus, the team was able to come up with a new exterior design and enhance the car’s aerodynamic performance, as well as trim its weight – all allowing Honda to boost the Civic’s overall performance. To carefully determine the latest and most important requirements of customers in Europe, Honda decided to conduct a focus research – gathering its designers and engineers from Europe and Japan to work on the development of the new Civic.

Honda first conducted tests on the Civic in Japan, and then in Europe – all designed to make sure that the car is perfect even for the most demanding C-segment customers. Mitsuru Kariya, Large Project Leader, remarked the new Civic needs to be safe, easy to handle and affordable, boasting of a good balance of between affordability and performance.

The current Honda Civic underwent strict evaluation from drivers, dealers and the media to enable Honda engineers to determine what features and qualities should be retained as well as what should be prioritized first. According to research, a typical Honda Civic driver would be pulled towards a car with fresh design and sporty performance, as laden with advanced technologies. It also revealed that customers demand for cars that consume less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide.

While drivers give strong points for the Civic’s unique styling and form, futuristic looks and practicality, they would better appreciate it if the car's rear design is more sophisticated and if its rear view is better than before. According to the research, participants welcomed the car’s user-friendly cockpit design, its roomy cabin, and versatile 'magic seats.'

However, these same people wanted Honda to improve the quality of the materials used in the Civic. Research also showed that while drivers were impressed with the driving experience, they are calling Honda to further reduce the suspension noise and enhance ride comfort.

Topics: honda, honda civic, sales

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