Typically, most automakers stick to a relatively strict five-year product cycle for their highest-selling, most important products. The Honda Civic, for example, debuted in September of 2005, so realistically, a new model should be just around the corner, right? Not exactly.

In an interview with AutoWeek, American Honda executive vice president John Mendel said that changing market conditions and tougher fuel economy and emissions regulations have strongly affected the development of the next-generation Civic, meaning that the new model won't come until sometime in 2011. AW also reports that the Civic's redesign has been altered along the way – the new model was supposed to be larger than the current model, but now it has been redesigned to be closer in size to the current one (pictured above).

What's more, with hot new products like the 2012 Ford Focus on deck, Honda will certainly have to up the ante on the Civic's level of equipment, style and refinement. The Civic is still one of the world's best-selling cars: about one million are moved each year. And with the U.S. accounting for approximately one-third of those sales, Honda would be wise to ensure that the next-generation Civic will be attractive enough to keep it in the top tier of high-selling vehicles in the States.

[Source: AutoWeek]

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