Honda Civic's interior makeover debuts in L.A.
LOS ANGELES -- Eighteen months after the redesigned 2012 Civic's interior layout and materials were greeted with a chorus of boos, Honda engineers are back with the fix.
Honda Motor Co. CEO Takanobu Ito fast-forwarded a midcycle redo for the Civic sedan and coupe, which will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week.
Honda has released images of a reskinned Civic, although the interior will not be displayed publicly until the car's official unveiling at the auto show on Nov. 29.
The refreshed 2013 model will go on sale the same day.
Despite the barbs, the Civic has continued to sell well, with U.S. deliveries up 39 percent through October to 254,716.
Typically, Honda has run the Civic on a five-year cycle, with a freshening after the third model year.
But with the 2012 version criticized for its interior plastics and layout, Honda engineers went on a crash-course revision ordered by Ito.
Ito publicly took blame for the 2012 Civic's poor interior, saying he had ordered engineers to decontent the car in response to the global recession that hit just as Civic product development was nearly complete. Not only did that result in a six-month delay in bringing the Civic to market, but the car looked unfinished and shoddy.
"The ultimate responsibility rests with me," Ito said at the 2011 Tokyo auto show.
In a statement, Honda said the 2013 model will "encompass a host of safety, feature, comfort, chassis and interior styling enhancements."
Both the front and rear sheet metal has been modified, with a "more deeply faceted hood" and "a more finished and upscale" trunk lid and rear fascia.
Honda declined to say whether any mechanical changes have been made to the Civic.
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