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Honda Exec Downplays Impact of Consumer Reports Trashing

No maker can "always hit them out of the park."

by on Aug.30, 2011

Can the 2012 Honda Civic overcome bad reviews?

Timing is everything – and Mike Accavitti was clearly wondering whether he got it right the day he accepted his new job as head of marketing for American Honda, a couple months back.

That was the same day that the influential Consumer Reports magazine took a potshot at the Honda Civic, declaring that the 2012 remake of the long-popular subcompact, normally one of the non-profit publication’s favorite choices, “now…ranks near the bottom of its category.”

As if to drive the knife deeper, the magazine followed up with a second report raising serious questions about Honda itself.  And CR wasn’t alone.  The 2012 Honda Civic has received a rash of criticism while the maker itself has come under increasing fire from various media – including – faulting it for a variety of issues, including timid design.

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Further complicating matters, the maker was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Japan on March 11.  The subsequent product shortages have probably reached their worst this month, says Accavitti, a former Chrysler executive.

“For a second, I thought, ‘Holy, moley, what did I get myself into?’” he says with a laugh that betrays his initial concerns.  But despite Honda’s recent setbacks, the new marketing chief insists he’s in for a good ride.