Personal Responsibility Honda CEO to Underwhelming U.S. Civic

As you may already know, even though they share the same name, the European and North American Honda Civics are two very different cars.

This is good news for Honda’s European arm, since the Frankfurt Motor Show-launched five-door hatch received a warm welcome, but bad news for their colleagues in North America who have faced a barrage of criticism.

The redesigned 2012 U.S.-spec Civic was dropped for the first time from the Consumer Reports “recommended” list and called “a betrayal” by the Wall Street Journal, to name only two publications.

Honda Motor CEO Takanobu Ito stepped up today and took personal responsibility for the ailing North American Civic during the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show.

“The ultimate responsibility rests with me”, Ito said to journalists according to Autonews. “We take inputs from the various markets with sincerity and try to work out the best actions for what we have observed. Those decisions rest with me.”

The 2012 Civic’s poor reception, along with reduced inventory, had a negative impact on its sales, resulting in a 15% drop in the first 10 months of the yea in a market that is recording a 10 percent increase in the same period.

In a year when the March earthquakes and the Thai floods have already hurt sales, launching a mediocre replacement for one of your most important models is certainly not a smart move.

That’s why, as reported, Honda is already considering moving up its redesign, which could happen as early as 2013.

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