After the 2012 Civic launched to less than glowing reviews, Honda has subtly changed how it develops vehicles to prevent this embarrassing situation from happening again. The 2013 Civic, as well as the updated Accord midsize sedan prove the company hasn’t completely lost its way.
To stay ahead of its rivals and to keep its loyal buyers coming back for more, Honda is taking “much more feedback from the market in early stages of [product] development.” When introducing vehicles he also said the company has to be more flexible, “to accommodate new comers,” adding “[it’s] very challenging.”
The automotive landscape is not like it was 20 years ago when Toyota and Honda could trounce the completion by just showing up. Today every OEM is on its “A” game. Cars like the Volkswagen Passat, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion are bringing the thunder like their respective brands have never done before.
SEE ALSO: 2013 Honda Civic Review
Another way Honda is attempting to maintain its leadership position is by monitoring competitors around the world, not just in North America or Japan. The company also recognizes it has to be better and faster than its rivals.
“We learned it’s the expectation of the customer,” Iwamura said. Buyers count on Hondas to deliver certain characteristics from quality and longevity to performance and features. If the product falls short of what consumers believe the brand stands for it can violate their trust because historically the company’s vehicles have “exceeded customer expectations.”