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The next-generation Honda Civic will be delayed until 2011, possibly as a 2012 model year car. This will put the Civic significantly past the typical five-year cycle, stretching until six or possibly even seven years before the ninth-generation car debuts. The current Civic arrived back in September of 2005, making it already quite dated.
Honda COO Tsuneo Tanai admitted at last year’s Tokyo Auto Show that significant changes were being made to the Civic, which was already getting close to production.
The reason for the drastic updates is due to significantly tougher fuel economy targets says American Honda Motor Co.’s VP John Mendel. The move is also, no doubt, attributed to serious competition from unfamiliar foes like the Ford and Chevy, which have both promised 40-mpg versions of the Focus and Cruze. While Honda is often known to be a fuel economy leader, as it stands the current lineup of cars is set to be outmatched by emerging domestic rivals in the sub-compact class; and improvements of just one or two miles per gallon won’t be enough to put Honda on top.
Rather than bring the planned Civic to market and have it fail, Honda is choosing to hang on to the current model (which, luckily for them is already quite good) in order to plan and come out with something better.
The news follows a report that Honda CEO Takanobu Ito is “not satisfied” with his company’s performance and the complacent attitude that has set in among its leaders.
As for the CR-V, Mendel confirmed that it will stock to a five-year production cycle with a redesign coming next year.
[Source: Autmotive News]
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]