Honda enthusiasts have become accustomed to a regular 5-year refresh cycle for the company's passenger car lineup. This generally gives Honda enough time to work out minor bugs, and refine new design features. By the end of the cycle, many customers should be ready to make a trade-in for an updated model too. It appears that the global auto maker will be stretching the length of that cycle by a year or so for the next Civic.
Last refreshed in 2005, the the current model Civic will celebrate it's 5th birthday this year. It's expected to reach the ripe old age of 6 before retiring. A new model will likely be introduced globally sometime in 2011. Whether or not this will be a permanent change to the Civic's life cycle is uncertain.
Government regulations and market conditions combined to delay the development of the new Civic, according to John Mendel, Executive Vice President of American Honda Motor Co. Increasingly demanding quality and fuel economy expectations may very well have sparked additional changes for the upcoming model.
The automotive industry has changed substantially since the 2005 Civic was born. The trend of increasing size seems to have been abandoned, as the 2011 model is not expected to grow, compared to the current generation. The Civic is an obvious top seller for Honda, known for economical, reliable cars. A well designed, market friendly, and environmentally friendly update for 2011 would put Honda in a great position to maintain the Civic's well-established reputation as a long-lasting, budget option with huge markets around the globe.