Home / Auto News / News article: 2012 Honda Civic Supply 'Severely Restricted' Dealers Warned; Sales Could Dip in 2011 - AutoGuide.com News
 |  May 03 2011, 7:47 AM

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Every time a new version of a car is introduced sales are expected to spike. That, however, is not the case with the all-new 2012 Honda Civic with American Honda Motor Co. sales boss John Mendel warning dealers in a memo that supply will be “severely restricted, with limited availability of certain models.”

Due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the document sent to dealers states that production of the new car will, “be at significantly reduced levels at least during the summer months.” As a result, some industry experts are predicting that instead of the usual spike for a new model, Civic sales could drop below the 2010 figure of 260,000 units.

“With an all-new and improved model, Honda of course targeted to sell more,” says Christina Ra, Manager Honda Public Relations. Unwilling to speculate on exactly how much the restricted supply could damage sales of the Civic, Ra did admit that, “Obviously, if a customer really needs to make a purchase, wants the Civic and can’t get it… there are choices that must be made on the customer’s part.”

While serious problem for any car in any year, this could hamper momentum on the new Civic and hurt its long term success in an increasingly competitive market. Hyundai’s new Elantra is off to a strong start and while Honda used to be able to count on a lack of competition from domestic automakers, both Ford’s new Focus and the new Chevy Cruze are both credible threats in the marketplace.

With supply limited due to production, and not demand, the imbalance between dealer inventories and customer buying habits could cause prices to rise. Ra was unwilling to comment on how dealers will react to the admitted imbalance between supply and demand, instead commenting that as independent entities they would be left to govern themselves.

No indication was given on if availability of particular Civic models could be more affected by the shortage.

The good news, says Ra, is that, “there is a tangible end in sight,” with Honda’s goal of normalizing production by the end of the year.

Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2012 Honda Civic Review

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  • carlover

    This will only hurt the Civic sales possibly even on a long term basis–as with less product, I suspect this will drive the price up at the dealers which will probably cause buyers who might have bought the Civic to try the Elantra and then they will discover that the Elantra sedan is actually the better buy as it offers more features ( among other things,six speed automatic, heated rear seats, proximity key, back up camera and a superior warranty for much cheaper price than a comparatively equipped Civic (when I look at the Elantra –I find it extremely impressive and like the Sonata–I would be tempted to buy the car based upon the styling alone—unfornately for Honda I could never say that about the styling of any of Honda’s recent products (including the 2012 Civic sedan which already looks dated and too much like the previous generation. I think Honda decided it was going to spend as little money as possible on developing the new Civic and instead of producing the bench mark in this segment–Honda played it safe and will find itself playing catch up to Hyundai (the Elantra engine still has room for development as it does not have direct injection and when Hyundai adds that I’m quite certain Honda will finally be forced to add a more modern tranmission and direct injection in order to keep up with Hyundai).