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Old 10-23-2012, 03:40 PM   #1
warpath
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Default 2013 Honda Civic emergency refresh

Autoblog: http://www.autoblog.com/2012/10/23/h...2013-emergenc/

Thanks to an anonymous tipster, Autoblog has learned that the so-called "emergency refresh" of the Honda Civic is just around the corner. In fact, the automaker is already urging its dealers to clear out remaining 2012 model year stock because "The changes made to the 2013 model will make the outgoing 2012 Civic a difficult model [to] sell when they are side to side." Those are the words of David Hendley, Assistant Vice President of Honda National Sales excerpted from a recent letter to dealers. The communiqué goes on to note that the refreshed Civic will go on sale on November 29 – a date, we note, that coincides with press days for the Los Angeles Auto Show.

According to Hendley's letter, buyers can look forward to "dramatic improvements to the exterior styling that moves Civic into a more premium sporty direction." The text also promises that the 2013's interior will receive "upgrades and improvements to bring more sophistication and quality to its appearance." For his part, American Honda President Tetsuo Iwamura has previously been quoted as saying that changes will be made to "improve the Civic's drivability," suggesting suspension and powertrain alterations are afoot as well.

The ninth-generation Civic has only been on sale for a year, and such a substantial refresh this early in the generation's lifecycle is unprecedented these days – not just for Honda, but for the industry as well. The Japanese automaker has been stung by widespread criticism for the 2012 Civic range's lackluster dynamics, lessened interior quality, noise levels, low feature count and uninspiring design – perceived shortcomings exacerbated by the industry's hyper-competitive compact car segment. Among the critics, the Civic was given poor marks in a review by this site as well as influential institute Consumer Reports, which went so far as to remove the Civic from its coveted Recommended list. In fact, CR editors labeled the 2012 Civic a "car to avoid" in August.

A lack of critical praise doesn't seem to be harming Civic sales, however. According to the automaker's own sales data, the 2012 model is performing quite handsomely, having sold 234,029 units through September of this year, with 21,546 of those units coming last month alone. That means Honda is shifting almost 40-percent more units this year than the (admittedly aging) eighth-generation model did in 2011. The Civic is now selling near the top of its class, and Hendley notes that the company's Indiana plant will be running at full-tilt to build the updated 2013 model – in fact, he indicates that the US will even draw units from Canadian production.

When contacted for comment about the Hendley dealer letter, Sage Marie, Honda's Senior Manager of Public Relations, confirmed to Autoblog that the automaker will have Civic news to reveal next month, noting that Honda is keen "to ensure Civic remains the benchmark in the segment and remains as competitive as it can be."

Letter to Honda dealers from Honda:

Dear Honda Dealer,

Thank you for your effort of selling down the 2012 Accord. As you remember from the dealer meeting earlier this summer in Philadelphia, our priority at the time was to get the Accord down to a reasonable days supply by our September launch date for the new model. Our sell down of the 2012 Accord is right in line of where we want to be, and the 2013 Accord is doing extremely well since it's release back in September. Your focus and selling effort on Accord is greatly appreciated.

Obviously, Accord sales makeup a huge part of getting to the company goal of 1,300,000 by the end of the year; however, Civic's role is just as important. You may be aware that the refreshed 2013 Civic will be available for sale on November 29, 2012. When it arrives on your lots you will see dramatic improvements to the exterior styling that moves Civic into a more premium sporty direction. The interior has even more upgrades and improvements to bring more sophistication and quality to its appearance. As I said in Philadelphia, we are taking a good Civic that is currently the leading selling vehicle in the small car segment regardless of fleet sales, and made is a great car. This is a car the breathes the famous Honda driveability, quality, reliability (DQR) that has made Honda what it is today. A brand that consumers want us to produce for you to sell. This vehicle is not produced simply to catch up to our competition it is being produced to expand its dominance and reign once again as the bench mark of the small car segment.

Civic makes up almost 25% of our 990,00 Honda sales for the year - it is a critical component in our goal to reach 1.3 million sales for the year. For your dealership to take full advantage of the refreshed Civic and the marketing we will have supporting it you must greatly increase the turn rate on our 2012 Civics. With the unprecedented enhancements we have made to the current Civic after its first year in its cycle you will want to have little to no Civics on hand at arrival time of this refreshed 2013 model. The changes made to the 2013 model will make the outgoing 2012 Civic a difficult model sell when they are side to side. I strongly encourage you to discuss your Civic inventory situation with your district manager today, and set up a sell down strategy that will reduce your total remaining model year 2012 Civics by a minimum of 60% before December 1, 2012. I cannot stress enough, sell down of your 2012 Civics is critical to the 2013 Civic launch and the success of inventory balance at your dealership.

Take action now! The 2013 Civic will come to your at full speed. Our plant in Indiana which produces Civic will run at full capacity with Civic production, and we will even get production from Canada too. Commit to reduce your model year 2012 Civics by 60% or more before December 1, 2012. And be prepared on November 29, to receive the greatest Civic ever produced!

Sincerely,
David Hendley
Assistant Vice President Honda National Sales
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:08 PM   #2
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Probably a good idea - the reviewers ripped the current Civic a new a-hole up n down.

I drove a few brand new ones and was less than impressed - certainly not the typical gem that the Civic should be.

Hopefully the new one can fix the shortcomings.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:02 PM   #3
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I just saw one in person the first time earlier this week. Have to admit, it doesn't look good at all in person.

I'm very impressed that Honda is taking this to task so quickly, especially since sales have been good.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:21 PM   #4
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Unlike many of the Japanese electronics giants (or once-giants), Honda MoCo is taking things seriously and fixing it before it becomes too late. Very impressive. The new Civic is a real disaster, even though it's been selling very well. It must be tempting to live off of your reputation at any given time, and Honda certainly tried that recently, but they seem to be turning it around now. More power to them.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:49 PM   #5
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Reminds me of...oh....the 08 wrx...

Its nice to see any company take the feedback and action it quickly, goes to show that consumers still have a voice.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:39 PM   #6
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I had a guy in a brand new, off-the-lot (white literally) '12 Civic pull out from the dealership (see what I mean?), across 4 lanes of traffic, in front of me as I was approaching a left turn with a green arrow.. and proceed to stop. I got on the brakes and the horn. He flipped me off.. then noticed the light turn yellow.. tried to punch it (he'd stopped 20' from the stop line) and had to stop hard again because it turned red. So then he spent the next 2 minutes avoiding eye contact with me in his mirrors.

I can conclude 2 things from this. The average buyer of a '12 civic is both an idiot and angry at the world from acute buyer's remorse.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:24 PM   #7
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Unlike many of the Japanese electronics giants (or once-giants), Honda MoCo is taking things seriously and fixing it before it becomes too late. Very impressive.
Companies normally avoid doing that because it costs a boatload of money. First Honda halted the redesign in 2009 to shorten the car and reduce content, and now they redesigning it again to fix the problems that created.

Basically they've flushed a few hundred million dollars in R&D money down the drain only to make the car what it should have been in the first place.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:25 AM   #8
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Companies normally avoid doing that because it costs a boatload of money. First Honda halted the redesign in 2009 to shorten the car and reduce content, and now they redesigning it again to fix the problems that created.

Basically they've flushed a few hundred million dollars in R&D money down the drain only to make the car what it should have been in the first place.
Sure, I'm not saying that the initial screw up of the redesign was a good thing. I'm saying that given the amount of money involved in correcting that mistake, it's good that Honda decided to take the hit sooner rather than later and save the reputation. I think this type of course correction is actually not very common in corporate Japan, they tend to be pretty stubborn.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:30 AM   #9
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My girlfiend bought a 2012 Civic back in April, and was extremely unhappy with it. You could tell the car was put together very poorly and cheaply made. Im glad Honda is taking a more "sophisticated" approach to their fleet, but we will have to see exactly what "sophisticated" means. Ive also heard rumors of the Si being manufactured with a turbo. Honda could be stepping their game up!
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:54 AM   #10
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Ive also heard rumors of the Si being manufactured with a turbo.
I seriously doubt it, considering how poorly their one and only turbocharged engine went over with the public (remember, this is the company that stopped bringing hatchbacks to the US because the 160hp Si didn't sell).

If they were to do such a thing, though.. the whole sport compact market would get rocked. There are Honda fanboys driving everything but Hondas these days.. because Honda has refused to build a competitive sporting product for 20 years (S2000 excepted).
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:35 AM   #11
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I seriously doubt it, considering how poorly their one and only turbocharged engine went over with the public (remember, this is the company that stopped bringing hatchbacks to the US because the 160hp Si didn't sell).

If they were to do such a thing, though.. the whole sport compact market would get rocked. There are Honda fanboys driving everything but Hondas these days.. because Honda has refused to build a competitive sporting product for 20 years (S2000 excepted).
The next Euro Type R will be getting a 1.6L turbo. Honda is already using it in their BTCC/WTC factory cars. Suppose to be a real nice bit of kit. I doubt it'll come to the US though. Even though the trend is smaller engines supplementing power through turbos, the K24 is already viewed as a "small" engine by US standards. I bet they'll keep it as is. They need to do something though. The K24 isn't cutting it and even by the 8.5 face-lift of the 8th gen civic the Si was lagging behind. Now that Ford has the ST in the US, and the GTi is supposeto get a nice bump up (Power, LSD, etc.) they will lose more and more ground. Thier name can only bring them so far. Unfortuantely that name only applies to it's road cars, as pretty much anyone interested in performance has written Honda off years ago.


I hope they will bring it over, but I'd be surprised if they did. I don't see the point for Honda, as they no longer want to build a performance car.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:24 PM   #12
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this is funny!
same thing that happened to the 08 WRX. this is always effing marketing people's fault!
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:20 AM   #13
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this is funny!
same thing that happened to the 08 WRX. this is always effing accounting's fault!
fixed it for you
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:28 AM   #14
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So I guess we can assume the reason for lack of details on this is they want to push the remaining '12's off the lot.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:25 AM   #15
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Seems to a bit drastic when the sales number is still good. Being they had little to no time to develop the next model, it could easily be disastrous again.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:39 AM   #16
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Seems to a bit drastic when the sales number is still good. Being they had little to no time to develop the next model, it could easily be disastrous again.
Sales numbers are good with a brand new car due to massive discounts and incentives. They should be selling themselves.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:27 AM   #17
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Funny thing is Honda discounted the last gen Civics drastically when the current gen was relelased and sold a bunch. There are 3 4dr Si's parked at my office... all bought within the last year or so.

Not bad cars and I'm sure with the discounted price even better.

-Mike.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:20 PM   #18
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Anybody know if the '13 refresh includes the Civic Si version, or is it only for the base models?
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:52 AM   #19
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The honda civic is as boring and bland as a camry. It needs to entire redesign.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:56 AM   #20
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New Camry Se is actually more exciting than the Civic.

Honduh needs to wake up.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:17 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Thwerve View Post
Anybody know if the '13 refresh includes the Civic Si version, or is it only for the base models?

Also, I wonder how the Si is selling. Is it part of that well selling statistic? Or is it just the mom-mobile version of the civic that is selling so well. I have seen only a few Si sedans, and even less of the coupes. Now I understand that's not a clear indicator of sales records, but in comparison, I see a lot of the previous gen Si cars.

You gotta figure Plane Jane and Less-than-average Joe don't really care how nice the Civic is in comparison to the completion, they are probably more attracted to the Honda reputation. They probably buy a lot of Apple stuff as well...
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:51 PM   #22
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Also, I wonder how the Si is selling. Is it part of that well selling statistic? Or is it just the mom-mobile version of the civic that is selling so well. I have seen only a few Si sedans, and even less of the coupes. Now I understand that's not a clear indicator of sales records, but in comparison, I see a lot of the previous gen Si cars.

You gotta figure Plane Jane and Less-than-average Joe don't really care how nice the Civic is in comparison to the completion, they are probably more attracted to the Honda reputation. They probably buy a lot of Apple stuff as well...
I think Honda is smart enough to realize that a lot of their sales come from a long-term reputation they've built for quality and reliability. But for 90% of consumers, this reputation is carried through advice/experiences of friends & family. And a lot of that hearsay originates with the magazines and guys like Consumer Reports, but it takes a while for that to trickle out to the general populace. So even if sales looked good this year, Honda knows that if they spend too many years out of the top rankings through the grapevine effect it WILL catch up to them.

I don't know how the Si's sales are, but IMO it really needs a refresh. It's been slower than the MS3 and WRX for a long time. The GTI, which has always been more popular has a new model coming soon. The base Focus ST is priced well and has been getting great press. The new Veloster Turbo is even more competition in the Si's space with low price, good mileage and sporty-ish aspirations. Do we even need to mention the FR-S/BRZ? Any feature you want, and there's a car that does it better than the Si.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:51 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by mpaone View Post
Funny thing is Honda discounted the last gen Civics drastically when the current gen was relelased and sold a bunch. There are 3 4dr Si's parked at my office... all bought within the last year or so.

Not bad cars and I'm sure with the discounted price even better.

-Mike.
Yea, they were basically giving the SI away by May of 2011. It's funny, though, the 8th gen is substantially better than the 9th. Guess they missed the marketing boat on that one. K20 > Crippled K24.

Edit:
I wonder if the 2013 Civic will get direct injected engines like the Accord just did?
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:47 PM   #24
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Toyota and Honda have spent way too much effort in Lean manufacturing -- as evidenced by cheaply made plastic parts.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:01 PM   #25
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Direct injection is available only on the accords at this time......still testing the waters with it for the time being. If you want a reliable civic, Youve got to get a Si
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