The redesigned Honda Civic has been poorly received and its sales have also lagged behind in the U.S. since it was launched last April. This is something that Honda Motor CEO Takanobu Ito takes responsibility for. He told journalists at the Tokyo Motor Show that the “ultimate responsibility” rests with him.
He said that he makes the decisions on the “best actions” to be taken using feedback from the different markets. Consumer Reports magazine cited the bad quality of the cheap plastics used for the interior as one of the primary reasons why the 2012 Civic was dropped from the list of "recommended" vehicles.
For more than 10 years, the Civic has consistently been a part of this list. The Civic redesign was described by a Wall Street Journal review as "a betrayal." Honda’s lineup is mainly composed of the Civic, Accord, Odyssey minivan and CR-V crossover. These four models stand for almost 80% of Honda’s U.S. sales. The U.S. market has noted a 10% increase through October but for this same period, Civic sales have fallen by 15% to 183,557 units.
Production at Honda’s plans has dropped due to the parts shortage, the result of Japan’s earthquake last March and the recent Thailand floods. The Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Fusion both outperformed the Civic.
And the Hyundai Elantra is fast catching up. American Honda executive vice president John Mendel said that Honda is considering a plan to short-cycle the Civic. It’s possible that its mid-cycle change will take place as early as the 2013 calendar year – one year in advance of a typical timetable in a five-year period.