Is The Honda Civic Hybrid Going to Be Axed?

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

There’s a chance the Honda Civic Hybrid is about to walk drive the “green mile.”

Today, Acura announced that the ILX will enter the 2015 model year without its hybrid variant. An Acura spokesman said in an e-mail that the choice was made because of poor demand for the hybrid variant, but what about its cousin: the Civic Hybrid?

A Honda representative couldn’t confirm that the Civic Hybrid will follow suit, saying the company has “not released that information yet.” Honda might not have made a final decision about whether it will continue selling the Civic Hybrid, which is also a slow seller but to a lesser extent than the ILX.

Acura charged a roughly $10,000 premium for the ILX Hybrid compared to its Civic sibling and sales never picked up. As the most expensive model and with relatively unremarkable real-world fuel economy, sales were understandably slow. May, 2013 was the peak month for ILX hybrid where Acura reported selling 195 and to date the company has sold a total for 2,600. Last month, only 3.8 percent of overall ILX sales in the U.S. were hybrids.

SEE ALSO: Acura ILX Hybrid Scrapped

The split is actually worse for the Civic than the ILX with hybrid models accounting for 1.5 percent of total Civic sales through May. Not only does the Hybrid Civic account for a tiny fraction of overall Civic sales, but they also sit on dealer lots significantly longer before selling.

Honda’s Greensburg Ind. plant is capable of adapting relatively quickly to meet demand; an attribute that played a pivotal role in Honda’s ability to rapidly refresh the Civic. Given that, the ILX Hybrid’s demise doesn’t necessarily mean that the Civic is about to disappear. The capacity will just shift to one of the other vehicles built there. Part of the reason the hybrid Civic and ILX struggle is that they don’t compete with better, more efficient hybrids. Honda’s “Integrated Motor Assist” (IMA) system powers both of those models but isn’t as efficient as the system Toyota uses to power the Prius.

Discuss this story at our Honda forum

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

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