Honda Reconsiders Next Generation Civic Plans

Honda is looking at all of its products to increase fuel mileage and lower cost. "We are taking more time to rethink the new Civic and all our models," Honda CEO Takanobu Ito said

The next Civic was originally designed to be bigger than the current model, rivaling Accords of the past. With the changing world market Honda has decided to focus on returning the Civic to its original goal, small and efficient. The change in plans came as designers had already solidified the next Civic. "The team is struggling. We are injecting more manpower to meet our target," said Ito. Launch timing for the next Civic was not discussed by Ito, as the pending changes could cause a delay in the launch.

If the Civic were to be delayed past its 5-year cycle, the entire Honda lineup would be affected, as the CR-V and Element rely on Civic architecture. If Honda keeps its pace, the next generation Civic would be arriving as a 2011 model.

The "Lehman Shock," as Ito refers to it, sparked Honda to rethink its pricing approach. "The easiest option would be to make products cheaper, but we have to not only cut the price but also maintain the highest quality. This applies to all models," said Ito.

Source: Automotive News

A couple suggestions, Ito-san...1> Get rid of the useless front quarter windows, they went out of style/practicality with wing windows (especially since smoking in today's culture is considered an almost capital offense)2> Get rid of the expensive to produce, ugly, headache-causing gauge cluster and return to traditional needle gauges (digital speedos were cool in 9C1 Caprices and Preludes and have long passed their usefulness/cost-effectiveness)3> Price the car to compete directly with Kia, Chevrolet, etc, who constantly have deep incentives. Many people that would gladly pay $1-2k more for a new Civic are immediately priced out compared to a Rio or Cobalt, especially considering #1 and #2.Honda's problem is that their residual values and MSRP are outrageously high comparatively. Solve this, and the company will thrive again as it did in the 1980's as Honda has long had a reputation for reliability and longevity (especially Civics).

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