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When Honda handed out sketches of an all-new Civic Concept last December, they received a warm welcome from those anticipating big changes for the maker's long-popular compact sedan.

So, the Honda press conference at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show last week triggered more than a bit of confusion - and even some disappointment. True, we journalists are used to seeing things watered down when an automaker moves from sketch to concept, and then from concept to production car. But the Civic Concept revealed in Detroit is no fantasy in chrome. If anything, in terms of design, it's only a moderately warmed-over version of the current compact sedan.

Which raises some serious questions about Honda's strategy at a time when the compact market is becoming more competitive than it has been in years. Until recently, Honda could assume that the only real competition for the Civic would be the Toyota Corolla. No longer.

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Paul A. Eisenstein is Publisher of, and a 30-year veteran of the automotive beat. His editorials bring his unique perspective and deep understanding of the auto world to Autoblog readers on a regular basis.
Continue reading Opinion: Has Honda lost its footing?

Opinion: Has Honda lost its footing? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Jan 2011 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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