Back in October, we told you that Honda was planning an early refresh of the much-criticized 2012 Civic. At the time, Honda execs expected the revamp to arrive in showrooms sometime in 2013 -- a full year ahead of schedule -- but according to a report in AutoNews, the tweaking has now been put into overdrive, and the refreshed Civic could debut before the end of this year.
The problems with the 2012 Civic began even before it arrived on the lots. First came the awkwardly phrased marketing campaign. Then, reviewers got to take the car for a spin and saw the cheap interior. The Wall Street Journal dubbed it "a betrayal", and customers seemed to agree, given the usually popular Civic's slumping sales figures.
Last fall, Honda acknowledged the Civic's critics and said that the company would work to turn out a refreshed model sometime in 2013. But over the weekend, an unnamed Honda executive told attendees at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas that the refreshed Civic will arrive by the fall of 2012 (AutoNews uses the word "significant" in describing changes to the Civic, but doesn't attribute it to the executive in question.)
If that happens, it will demonstrate remarkable determination on Honda's part. Typically, a refresh takes several years to engineer, and in the 2012 Civic's case, a facelift wasn't expected until calendar year 2014. That puts this a full two years ahead of schedule.
Honda's efforts are doubly remarkable given the problems it's had on the manufacturing side. Between the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami last March and the floods that crippled production in Thailand last fall, Honda -- along with other Japanese automakers -- had a very tough 2011.
We'll keep you posted as the refreshed Civic winds its way to a showroom near you.