While the criticism hasn't hurt Civic sales, it has cost Honda. The car led all compacts last month with sales topping 25,000. But Honda is now spending $1,550 per Civic on incentives, $250 above the industry's small-car average, according to TrueCar. Civic discounts were $1,400 higher than Hyundai's Elantra, $450 more than the Chevy Cruze, and $350 higher than the Ford Focus.
Honda, realizing the competition had gotten better, is reworking the 2012 Civic to fix some of the problems.
"We need to see if Honda has learned from Civic and what they've applied to the Accord," says Aaron Bragman, an auto industry analyst for the IHS consulting firm.
Glenn Mears, who owns Nissan and Honda dealerships around Dover, Ohio, south of Canton, has seen the new Accord. He is betting it will live up to expectations, and is thrilled to have two strong cars to sell against rival dealers.
"It should help me dominate my market," he says, "or at least get more of the market than I have right now."
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