Year after year, the Honda Civic has been one of the most popular car models in the United States. The model has done relatively well in Japan, too. The company introduced a hybrid Civic in the US, but we all know how well they sold—drive around certain neighborhoods in LA and Northern California and you would think the Toyota Prius was the only car available on the market. The hybrid Civic, sadly for Honda, never had the chance to compete.
But in Japan, the hybrid Civic has found a new life. Honda will only manufacture hybrid Civics, ditching the traditional internal combustion engines, starting in 2011. The announcement is also part of a shift in Honda's overall strategy. Honda had planned on building even smaller cars and automobiles using clean diesel technology. But those plans ever materialized, so Honda is ditching those plans and will start concentrating on only hybrid engines.
By 2013, Honda says it will have as many as five hybrid models on its domestic and international markets. The firm plans on introduce a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that same year, which would compete with the Nissan Leaf. But hybrid technology appears to be the path that Honda wants to follow, and by phasing out older technologies while focusing on one technology, hybrid, Honda hopes that an increased manufacturing of car batteries will allow for scale. If all goes Honda's way, hybrid Civics would soon cost about the same or even less than those that use the older, gas-guzzling engines.