Honda Motor Co. is hoping that sales will be energized when the new version of its Civic small car (the ninth generation) starts selling this spring. In 2010, Honda’s sales have dropped and it has also lost its market share to rivals.
Honda recently unveiled two concept versions of the upcoming Civic coupe and sedan that executives claim to be very similar to the production version of the vehicles that will appear in U.S. showrooms this spring as a 2012 model.
John Mendel, Honda U.S. chief sales executive, told reporters at the Detroit Auto Show that the Civic, which has been sold in the U.S. since 1972, will be competing in a compact car market has become more crowded.
The Civic will have to compete with new entrants, including the new Ford Focus and the Chevrolet Cruze. Mendel said that Honda’s “spirit of competition" is sharpened. He said that for many years, the Civic has topped the competition with a great lead but the scenario is different now.
Honda trailed every major automaker in the U.S. market in 2010, except only for Toyota Motor Corp., which suffered a setback due to the recall crisis.
With sales from its luxury Acura brand included, Honda's U.S. sales increased by 7% in 2010, compared to an industry-wide gain of 11%. Sales of Honda-brand cars such as the Civic, which make up more than half of overall U.S. sales, fell by 1.2%. [via autonews - sub. required]