Toyota Camry, Honda Civic output may be reduced on rising supply

Article by Anita Panait, on July 10, 2013

Production of the Toyota Camry and the Honda Civic may be reduced due to rising inventories of the models, according to report published by RBC Capital Markets. Joseph Spak, an analyst for RBC, said in the report that the Camry exceeded its seasonal historical average inventory by more than 15 days supply in June 2013.

The Civic meanwhile exceeded its seasonal historical average inventory by more than 25 days supply in June 2013. The report only identified the Camry and the Civic as the only models at risk for reduced output among 16 of the best-selling vehicles in the United States. RBC said models like the Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Fusion, may need additional production to meet increasing demand for this passenger cars.

Spak wrote in the report that "Toyota is pulling out all stops" to sustain its top market position against "a slew of new competition." The Detroit 3 -- General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC -- all managed to gain share in the US market in the first six months of 2013.

Spak also said in the report that there is a downside risk to production schedules for the Civic as its inventories are above historical levels. Carly Schaffner, a spokeswoman for Toyota, told Bloomberg in an e-mail that the Camry inventory was at 55 days supply in June 2013, compared to 57 in June 2012.

She said that the Camry "has been running" at a days supply in the 50s since January 2013. Schaffner noted that Toyota's production is flexible and based on customer demand." Steve Kinkade, a spokesman for Honda, told Bloomberg in an e-mail the carmaker has around a 60-day supply of Civics.

2013 Honda Civic is considered as a mid-cycle refresh. However, there remains the fact that changes made to the newest model by far surpass what a mid-model refresh usually is.

For instance, Honda heavily tweaked the styling of both the front and rear ends of the 2013 Honda Civic Sedan, allowing the new model to boast a more youthful and premium feel. Sheet metal changes were implemented, including a new hood and trunk lid.

The front end of the new Honda Civic has a black honeycomb mesh grille and a new open-mouth lower bumper with a horizontal chrome accent. The grille – featuring new integrated fog lights on EX-L and above trims – is flanked by new clear-lens corner lights, with the car’s more sculpted front end now flowing more seamlessly into its taller yet deeply faceted hood.

On the rear end, the new Honda Civic features a new bumper design and new trunk lid, both accentuated by a horizontal chrome trim. The rear end also features newly designed jewel-like taillights seemingly integrated into the trunk. Meanwhile, the rear bumper comes with integrated reflectors as well as a new lower diffuser panel with a honeycomb mesh vent.

Although the 2013 Honda Civic Coupe still features the same expressive exterior styling as the previous model, it comes with a sharper appearance thanks to restyled wheels.

The body of the new 2013 Honda Civic is now stronger and more rigid while still being lightweight, thanks to the fact that 55 percent of the construction is high-strength steel. The body also features a number of tweaks, especially on the A-pillar, front floor, upper wheel housing, side sill and front bumper extension.

By employing high-strength steel, the 2013 Civic is expected to be more refined and have a stiffer structure, thereby allowing for the several updates for its chassis. In addition, the new structure of the Civic should allow the car to excel in the small overlap crash test of the new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

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