Honda is looking to make big changes across its product lineup, and the first model to go under the microscope is the next generation of the award winning and incredibly popular Civic. The Japanese automaker wants to make all of its vehicles more fuel efficient and less expensive, which will require significant changes to the Civic, a car that is already well-along in the development process.
In an interview with Automotive News Company CEO Takanobu Ito said, “We are taking more time to rethink the civic and all our models.” COO Tsuneo Tanai elaborated on this saying that Civic engineers were specifically told to make the car smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient than it was originally designed to be. This could be problematic as the next Civic was set to be larger than the current car.
The worry is that this new stage of development could delay the car, which could also delay numerous other Civic-based vehicles, like the CR-V.
Honda believes this focus on fuel-economy is the way to go. “We perceived that U.S. customers are sensitive to the external environment, and their response is very direct,” said Tanai, referring to the rise in gasoline prices last year that caused the Civic to out-sell the Ford F-Series pickup.
If Honda intends to keep to a five year production cycle, the next Civic will have to arrive some time next year as as 2011 model.
[Source: Automotive News via AutoWeek]