November 17, 2010 09:59
Honda Motor will stop selling its longtime flagship mid-size sedan, the Civic, in Japan 38 years after its debut, it emerged on Tuesday.
The carmaker is closing the curtains on the Civic due to plunging demand for the model, with only 452 units including hybrids sold in Japan last month.
However, Honda will continue selling Civics in overseas markets including the U.S. and Europe, and is preparing an updated model exclusively for export.
Some three million Civics have been sold in Japan since the first model was launched in 1972. Introduced in Korea in 2006, only 5,299 have been sold here as of the end of last month.
The retirement of the Civic in Japan reflects the transformation of the automotive landscape there. Demand for gasoline-powered compacts and luxury cars has been dwindling due to a growing preference for hybrids, smaller cars with low motoring costs, and multi-functional vehicles emphasizing practicality. The top selling car in Japan in October was Toyota's Prius hybrid, followed by the fuel-efficient Honda Fit.
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