Honda dealerships were told that the Civic compact will get a major mid-cycle change this fall, according to one of its high-ranking officials. It was only 18 months ago that this model was launched. Honda is making this move in order to improve the Civic in time for the 2013 model year.
The Wall Street Journal had criticized the Civic’s interior that now looks cheaper as well as its other downgrades in content. The model is also no longer included in Consumer Reports’ recommended list.
John Mendel, American Honda Motor Co.’s executive vice president, said that the company had initially scheduled a midcycle freshening for the Civic in 2013. But Honda executives recently said that a change will arrive by the end of this year. This would already be an achievement in itself since majority of automakers would do a mid-cycle change only three years into a five-year cycle.
Typically, midcycle changes consist of minor changes to the front and rear fascias as well as some minor interior updates. According to a dealer source, the revisions to the 2013 model year version would be more significant than that. With this latest move, Honda confirms that the significantly revised Civic will arrive at about the same time as a redesigned Accord.
Even with the bad reviews and inventory shortages that came as the result of the Japan earthquake in March and the flooding in Thailand, the Civic continues to be one of the contenders for the title of top-selling compact car. Honda sold 221,235 Civics in 2011, much lower than its usual 300,000-plus figure. Last January, Honda sold 21,883 Civic units, which earns it the recognition as the leader in the segment.