While Detroit 3 is raking more profit from the surge in demand for pickup trucks, Honda's executive vice president and director for North America, still wants to appeal to the United States market with its small cars and good fuel economy. Tetsuo Iwamura, who is also the president and chief executive of American Honda Co. Inc, said that the carmaker would field one of its Earth Dreams direct-injection gasoline engines in its Civic small car.
Iwamura acknowledged that fact that gasoline prices are stabilizing in the mid-$3-a-gallon range and Detroit 3 is able to post strong pickup sales.
He remarked that it is wrong to say Americans don't care about fuel economy, since their income hasn't increase much. To intensify its sales campaign in the US, Honda will upgrade its Civic model with Earth Dreams technology to further improve its fuel economy, according to Iwamura.
Launched in November 2011, Honda's Earth Dreams technology covers four new gasoline engines with direct injection and double-overhead cams; a turbocharged diesel engine; three redesigned continuously variable transmissions; and three new gasoline-electric hybrid powertrains. Honda, however, has yet to equip it Civic model with an Earth Dreams engine.
Honda refreshed the Civic in a rush for the 2013 model year, following a widely criticized 2012 redesign. According to Iwamura, the Earth Dreams upgrade for the Civic would occur when the model undergoes re-engineering or redesigning, not just a freshening. Iwamura said cars are re-engineered typically every two years or so, which means that the 2015 Civic may be equipped with an Earth Dreams engine.