And here's this from this morning's Los Angeles Times, "L.A. Auto Show: Honda rushes to redesign lackluster Civic":
Through 10 months of this year, no compact car has sold better than the Honda Civic. Not the Toyota Corolla, the Ford Focus, the Chevy Cruze nor the Hyundai Elantra.I'm glad they reworked it. I might get another one of those things. Who knows?
That's nothing new for Honda or its popular economy car, long a favorite of car critics. Such are the royalties earned from years of consistent reliability, fuel efficiency and strong resale value.
And yet Honda on Thursday trotted out a thoroughly updated Civic at the Los Angeles Auto Show, hoping in part to appease auto critics who almost universally panned the 2012 redesign. The hard plastic interior was called cut-rate, the road and wind noise excessive, the handling sloppy. Consumer Reports, the endorsement perhaps most prized by automakers, stripped the Civic of its “recommended” label in an increasingly competitive small car segment.
The company was caught off guard by the rapidly improving quality of the Civic's peers.
"We underestimated the expectations ... that [customers] had for Honda," said John Mendel, executive vice president for Honda America. So the company scrambled to make the Civic competitive, Mendel said.
Photos: Honda rushes redesign of new Civic
Acknowledging the car's weaknesses, the company recently invited reporters to drive the before and after versions at its U.S. headquarters in Torrance, using the current car as the foil to highlight the virtues of its replacement.
If a short preview drive is any indication, Honda can expect continued sales success.
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