Honda is set to make some big changes to its product lineup, at home and abroad, eliminating the Acura RL and dropping the gas-powered Civic model from its lineup in Japan.
We can't say we're surprised about the demise of the slow-selling RL, especially after Acura recently released the TL SH-AWD model with the same engine, essentially making the RL redundant. Many blame the lack of a V8 and a true rear-drive architecture for Acura's lack of success in the full-size luxury segment. The RL is sold as the Legend in other markets. In addition, Honda will also eliminate the Elysion minivan.
The biggest surprise, however, is that in Japan Honda will no longer offer a gasoline-powered Civic. Hybrid cars are increasingly becoming the norm in Japan, and so Honda will continue to offer the Civic in Japan, only in hybrid form.
Instead, Honda will focus on models like the Insight and other green models, as well as more entry-level cars.
This news comes via Japan's Nikkei business paper, which also reports that the new Civic will debut in the Fall of 2011.
More: Honda to Axe Gas-Powered Civic in Japan, Drop Acura RL Globally on AutoGuide.com