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Honda Motor Co. (HMC - Analyst Report) has launched the upgraded version of Civic at the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show. The 2013 Honda Civic is set to address the growing demand for compact-vehicles. With the launch of the upgraded Civic, the company seeks to strengthen its market leadership and abide by its motto of providing speed, affordability and low carbon dioxide emissions to its customers.

The upgraded version of Civic features class-leading standard features and upgraded design, but maintains the efficiency and value attached with Civic automobiles. The vehicle is equipped with Bluetooth Hands Free Link, Bluetooth Audio, rearview camera, color i-MID display, USB/ iPod connection, Pandora Interface, an SMS text feature, steering wheel audio controls, exterior temperature gauge and sliding center-console armrest.

The vehicle is provided with new safety technologies including Advanced Compatibility Engineering, SmartVent side airbags, side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor and Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems.  

The vehicle will be available in LX, EX, EX-L and Si models together with the Civic Hybrid, Civic Natural Gas and Civic HF sedans. The starting price of the sedan has been set at $18,165.

Honda reported a 36.1% rise in its profit to ¥82.23 billion ($1.06 billion) or ¥45.63 (59 cents) per share in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 from ¥60.43 billion or ¥33.53 per share in the year-ago quarter. However, the earning per share lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 33 cents.

Consolidated net sales and other operating revenues climbed 20.4% year over year to ¥2.27 trillion ($29.27 billion) due to higher revenues from the company’s Automobile segment with the recovery from the impact of twin disaster in Japan in 2011, which was partly offset by unfavorable foreign currency translation.
Honda Motor Company is a leading manufacturer of automobiles and the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. The automaker is recognized internationally for its expertise and leadership in developing and manufacturing a wide variety of products that incorporate its efficient internal combustion engine technologies ranging from small general-purpose engines to specialty sports cars. It is the second largest automaker in Japan, next to Toyota Motor Corp. (TM - Analyst Report).

Currently, Honda retains a Zacks #4 Rank, which translates into a short-term Sell rating.

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