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Old 23 Oct 2012, 02:40 pm
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Default Honda warns dealers to clear out 2012 Civic stock, 2013 emergency refresh on sale Nov. 29

Filed under: Car Buying, Coupe, Budget, Sedan, Honda



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.

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."

To read Hendley's complete letter to Honda's US dealer body, scroll down.

Continue reading Honda warns dealers to clear out 2012 Civic stock, 2013 emergency refresh on sale Nov. 29

Honda warns dealers to clear out 2012 Civic stock, 2013 emergency refresh on sale Nov. 29 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Oct 2012 10:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.



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