This week's big auto news will definitely be all about the Honda Civic.
Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) just launched the all-new generation Civic with an entirely new look, a thoroughly reworked interior, enhanced connectivity, and many features previously expected of midsize premium sedans. Headlining the new model is the fact that Honda has ditched the naturally aspirated engine in favor of the enhanced 1.5-liter VTEC turbo engine, as well as fitting all variants with Honda Sensing technology. This will indeed serve as a more exciting counterpoint to something like the Toyota Corolla Altis model range.
Promising as the Civic may be, it is being launched at a time when customers really are looking towards larger crossovers and SUVs. And the pricing of the Civic means it is in the region of some very popular models in very different classes. The most affordable variant of the Civic is PHP 1.29 million followed by a mid-grade model at PHP 1.498 million and the top-spec RS at PHP 1.69 million.
If you're in a market for a vehicle in that price range, we're willing to bet you're looking at either a crossover, a high spec pick-up truck, or even a mid-grade pick-up passenger vehicle (PPV) SUV category. Those are difficult models to be up against based on price, given the extra size, ride height, and more seats.
According to Atty. Louie Soriano, Honda Cars Philippines General Manager for Sales, the tenth generation Civic was averaging about 110 units per month. For the all-new eleventh generation model, Atty. Soriano says they are expecting to sell about 170 to 200 units per month. On average, they are planning for about 2,000 units per year for the all-new model.
That seems about right, though they will have to sort out some issues with regards to supply and allocation from the country of manufacture (Thailand) for the Civic. But when asked about it, Atty. Soriano says the chip issue wasn't the main problem with the delay, but rather some internal matters.
As to how that will all play out for Honda remains to be seen. But we won't be surprised if the Civic becomes another popular model in its class despite the waning demand for sedans.