Redesigned Honda Civic Debuts In Japan, Including New Hybrid Model

The new hybrid system enables the gasoline-electric vehicles, like Toyota's Prius sedan, for the first time to run solely on the electric motor at low cruising speeds.

Published: 22-Sep-2005

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Honda Motor Co. unveiled the latest version of its popular Civic sedan on Thursday, with improved gasoline and hybrid engine systems for the domestic market, as it looks to reignite flagging sales of a car that was launched a third of a century ago.

Production of the Civic -- which has sold some 16 million worldwide -- has dropped 24 percent from a 1997 peak as consumers shifted to newer designs.

But the Civic still accounts for nearly a fifth of Honda's global sales and is seen, along with the company's best-selling Accord, as a lifeline in ferociously competitive world markets.

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