The Wall Street Journal [sub] reports that, after selling a mere 9,000 units last year, the Honda Civic will be retired from the Japanese market. For perspective, the Civic sold 609,000 units worldwide last year. According to the report
Sales of the Civic in Japan reached their largest annual volume of 177,000 vehicles in 1975, accounting for 71% of the company’s overall domestic sales that year.
What happened to the Civic? For one thing, it got bigger… and Japan didn’t. The 2011 Civic is 32 inches longer than the big-in-Japan 1975 model and weighs nearly twice as much (1,495 lbs in 1975, 2,630-2,830 lbs today). And by the looks of things (above), the forthcoming Civic refresh isn’t going to bring a whole lot to the table either, besides a corporate grille. There’s been a lot of chatter of late about Honda and its loss of “mojo”… the fact that the Civic has lost relevance in the Japanese market shows just how far Honda has come from its roots. No wonder a little mojo was lost along the way.