2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
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  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan front 3/4 view

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  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
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  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
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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.


Show full PR text
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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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 195 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Jesus!
      • 2 Years Ago
      And how many are going to my local car rental agencies?
        Jack
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jesus!
        Not many of Honda's sales are fleets. It's cars like the Focus and Cruze that have enormous sales to government and rental company. Focus fleet sales were nearly 1/2 earlier this year. The Cruze sold at 39% just last month. http://www.autoblog.com/2012/01/27/ford-tops-in-non-retail-sales-45-of-focus-sold-to-fleets/ http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2012/10/chevy_cruze_stays_no_1_in_sept.html
          merlot066
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jack
          Of course they are, do you expect government agencies to buy cars from Japanese carmakers? Also, Focus sales were 45% fleet in 2011 when the turd of a 2011 model was being replaced by the awesome 2012 model we have now. Ford had $5,000 rebates on the hood and still couldn't find people to take them over the 2012 model.
          bl0cknbl0w
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jack
          Merlot is a Ford cry baby. Honda is one of the least reliant on sales to fleets you'll find. Ford consistently has been one of the biggest sellers of fleets in auto industry.
          Freak Show
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jack
          I'm not sure if you're trying to defend Ford or if you're just trying make make Ford supports look stupid. 45% fleet sales is ridiculous for any car, any year, any automaker, and country. I think 39% isn't much better.
          Chris D
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jack
          @ merlot066 Not having government support them with fleets only makes Honda look stronger in my eyes. I don't get what your point is. I doubt Honda is going to dump half of their 2012 stock to fleets to make room for the new model....You know, like Ford does?
          bl0cknbl0w
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jack
          Merlot, it's really sad that you need multiple accounts to play with the comment ratings. I've seen this many times with your comments. You were down 6 or 7 votes earlier. How the hell are you now up, you scumbag?
          merlot066
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jack
          Didn't realize I needed a flamesuit to point out that American cars will always have high fleet percentages because of government purchases and truck sales (over 1/3 of Ford's sales are trucks, huge numbers of trucks go to fleets). The government does not "prop up" Ford or any other automaker. If you take out Ford's fleet sales away they would still be the #1 brand in America by a wide margin. Continue ******* on Honda's lugnuts.
          bl0cknbl0w
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jack
          Wow that was impressive! Come on, give me a break. You had just responded to me within a few minutes to my comment. What the hell were you doing? It wasn't a coincidence that you looked at your comment at the exact same time my reply was posted. You either were just sitting there staring at your comment for an hour and jumped into action once you saw me post or you were just playing with the ratings at the same time you saw me make a comment. You have a really sorry life either way. Also my comment isn't up 3 right now.
          bl0cknbl0w
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jack
          It's also amazing how my first comment is just now being down voted by you, you pathetic jerk! You think singling out my comments won't make it any more obvious that you're playing with the ratings?
          merlot066
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jack
          I was down 4, now I'm down 5. I'm glad that's all you have to say about this... And how did you get a +3 in 9 minutes? Ooooh conspiracy.
          merlot066
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jack
          Like, I said, I'm glad that's all you have to contribute to this. I just pointed out that a terrible product was replaced by an awesome product and a combination of that and government sales made for a high fleet percentage for the Focus in 2011. If you remove Ford's 12% fleet sales they'd still be the #1 selling brand in 2011. Looks like your butthurt is turned up to 11. P.S. I went to bed at 11:30 last night, I don't know who gave you a -3 but I can call the internet police and/or waambulance for you if you'd like.
          bl0cknbl0w
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jack
          Good Lord, -20 points for my comment that was up most of yesterday??? You really need to get a life, merlot!
          bl0cknbl0w
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jack
          Oh, you're so full of shiit. It's people like you that make AB's comment section a joke. No controlling the trolls and multiple accounts. Stop cheerleading Ford's fleet sales and shilling for Ford in a Civic article! Your facts aren't even right. "Ford sells more of its cars to rental agencies and other fleet customers than does any other major carmaker. In 2011 about 32% of the 2.1 million vehicles Ford sold went to fleet customers..." -Forbes Yeah, Ford world still be #1 by a wide margin in 2011. That 32% of fleets sales is just the unneeded cherry on top.
          bl0cknbl0w
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jack
          Merlot, you're wrong! And you're a ----ing troll! Just shut off your computer. The sites better of without your stupid games.
          merlot066
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jack
          You appear to be the troll here, 95% of your posts have been complaining about ratings, calling me names, and not contributing any facts. I come here to read articles and get in the occasional disucssion/debate about facts. Now I know to avoid your trolling on the Honda posts.
      NightFlight
      • 2 Years Ago
      +17 on some comments that are pro-Honda? Anything anti-Honda is -9? Boys and girls, you know who is behind it and Autoblog does nothing to stop it. This ONLY happens in the Honda and Hyundai/Kia articles. Now where's mary.keana284304953?
        bl0cknbl0w
        • 2 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        I don't know what your complaining about. Your comment is up 7 points in 15 minutes. Look at what merlot066 is doing in his reply to Jack and Jesus if you want see rating manipulation. His comments were down 5-6 points most of yesterday and this morning.
          bl0cknbl0w
          • 2 Years Ago
          @bl0cknbl0w
          Holy crap! Who the hell has the time to make 30+ accounts?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          Yeah, I saw it. He/she IMMEDIATELY created the login after mary.keana was banned. So there has been: Mary Keana Mary.Keana mary keana mary.keana mary.keana2 All of them have been banned.
        David
        • 2 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        So I guess this must have one of them "pro-Honda" comments the towns been talkin' about.
        I Am Paul
        • 2 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        How did you get 20 thumbs up in an hour?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @I Am Paul
          [blocked]
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @I Am Paul
          yomama: not sure what is up. I'd wager some of them are genuine and some are the multiple accounts of mary keana.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @I Am Paul
          [blocked]
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          @I Am Paul
          I really didn't. It is one person with literally 30 different log ins that has an absolutely pathetic life. It has actually become comical how much of this person wastes their time, pretty good indication of what is going on with their life. All Autoblog has to do is check for IP addresses and they'll see what's going on.
          bl0cknbl0w
          • 2 Years Ago
          @I Am Paul
          yomama, I am NOT invisibleblog. But I agree that he has multiple accounts. So does merlot. If I hadn't replied to NightFlight's comment, he wouldn't have +30 comment rating. It's merlot that's playing the ratings right now.
          bl0cknbl0w
          • 2 Years Ago
          @I Am Paul
          I actually did have an account before, but that was probably over 2 years ago. I rarely ever comment on AB. I created bl0cknbl0w earlier this month but never made comments with it before this article. I've seen IB use multiple accounts before, but he's not the guy that's playing with ratings here in this comment section. I'm only commenting because of how annoying the comments and trolling are here.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @I Am Paul
          [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        [blocked]
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ yomama I honestly just want Autoblog to fix the commenting system. I am a moderator on forums and you can IP ban users. That prevents them from coming back or ever commenting again.
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sounds like they got the message, but did they GET the message?
      snap_understeer_ftw
      • 2 Years Ago
      yet the civic still sells like hot cakes, no? I think that underscores a severe disconnect between reviewers (like AB, magazines, CR, etc) and consumers....... Ultimately the Civic is a nice car which does what it does perfectly well for those who buy it and sales numbers reflect it. It certainly doesn't hurt to make it more refined though and I welcome it
      icemilkcoffee
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is a huge, colossal mistake, for Honda to pay any attention to the automotive press. Why on earth are they doing a costly model change, when the current car is selling so well? Hopefully they will learn their lesson, and never, ever pay attention to the blabber-mouths in the auto press.
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        Because the current car has been met with horrible reviews?
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        Because the vehicle is selling well due to high discounts. That obviously doesn't help Honda.
        Matt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        They are most likely selling on their reputation. They need to resolve the problems that have been pointed out with the new (Now old?) generation in order to maintain/repair that reputation. I applaud this greatly as someone who owns and loves his 1999 civic coupe with 193k carefree miles on it.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        [blocked]
      telm12345
      • 2 Years Ago
      One word to sum all of Honda's mistakes in one: Crosstour.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @telm12345
        [blocked]
      sonbuster
      • 2 Years Ago
      I bet the update is a touch of chrome on the trunk deck as that found on the >09 civics.
      Karfreek
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have driven the current Civic. At the price point it is in it delivers what I would expect. Sometimes simple is better.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Karfreek
        [blocked]
        Xedicon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Karfreek
        Better cars than the current Civic: Focus, Cruze, Dart, Forte, Soul (I know slightly different vehicle class but still), Veloster, Accent, basically anything else on sale as a compact car. The Civic is a dinosaur in the compact class at this point, everyone else has seriously, majorly, stepped up their game. The refresh would have to be on the same scale as the Sebring to 200 refresh for the Civic to become competitive.
      Marcelo Eu
      • 2 Years Ago
      This civic is not bad looking neither a bad car...the thing is...when the 8th gen was launched it got way ahead of the competition (2006 Corolla, Focus, Sentra, Cobalt, Elantra...). In 2012 all the competition made a huge step forward. The civic got a slight improvement in contrast. The consumers where expecting that huge jump like that from the 7th to the 8th gen... That's where the disappointment is from...
      Radioactive Flea
      • 2 Years Ago
      People who but Hondas do not care what they look like anyway.
      Marlboro
      • 2 Years Ago
      people say honda is offering $2000 on a civic. Honda has never offered cash incentives, and I see zero offered on the honda website if i can get a 2012 with $2000 cash, i'm getting a new Si sedan
        foxtrot685
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marlboro
        I think those are dealer incentives to move them off of the lots, not manufacture incentives, so if thats the case you wouldnt see it on the site. I guess people go in saying "This isn't what I expected it to be..." and they begin to walk and the salesman comes back with "I'll take 2-grand off!" and that gets them to sign the papers. I dont know if you remember, but Honda got mad at dealers for doing this with the Civic not too long ago, and the dealers pushed back saying its the only way they could really move them quickly.
          creamwobbly
          • 2 Years Ago
          @foxtrot685
          They're going to have to do an awful lot more than take money off. They need to add options as well as reducing the price, because what I'm hearing is that the 2013 model is going to look better, probably perform better, and yet sell at the same price point.
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