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    Citing Competition, Honda Announces Civic Overhaul

    Here's some interesting news about the car market in the United States: Citing increased competition, Honda said it is taking the unusual step of redesigning its Civic sedan months after a unveiling its 2012 model this summer.

    Here's what Tetsuo Iwamura, chief executive for American Honda Motor Co., told The Detroit News:

    "When Honda started developing the Civic, 'competition was not as fierce,' Iwamura said, noting the Detroit automakers were suffering financially and General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC filed for bankruptcy protection and European automakers 'were not as robust here.'

    "But today, the Civic faces stiff competition from Detroit, including the Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus and Fiesta.

    "'We're facing an industry that's more revitalized,' Iwamura said.

    "Even though customers are cross shopping more than ever before, 'we think we have a little edge in understanding what the customers wants,' he said."

    So how serious is the threat to Honda? As the AP's auto writer Tom Krisher puts it, revamping a car this quickly is an "unprecedented" move "for any carmaker because new models aren't usually revamped for at least three years."

    "Part of the problem is the expectations of Honda customers and journalists are very high," John Mendel, executive vice president of Honda, told the Detroit News. "A good car is not good enough sometimes."

    Honda plans unveiling a revamped 2013 Civic late next year. Bloomberg reports that after failing to receive a "recommended" status from Consumer Reports, sales of the Honda Civic fell 13 percent this year. Another issue Honda is facing is that its inventory has been battered first by floods in Thailand and then by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

    Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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    A Love Letter To Literature: Reading Gabo In 'The Paris Review'

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez died Thursday. It would be hard to overstate the importance of his novels, but author Gustavo Arellano recommends getting to know him in a different medium.
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    Can Wal-Mart Really Make Organic Food Cheap For Everyone?

    The giant retailer says it's adding a new line of organic food that's at least 25 percent cheaper. But a large-scale production and supply of organic food likely can't be achieved overnight.
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    Are Democrats Trying To Energize The Base With The Race Card?

    Top Democrats have said recently that some GOP opposition to President Obama and his agenda is based on race. It's an explosive message that might drive Democratic voters to the polls.
    NPR

    Tech Week: Earnings, A Heartbleed Arrest And Digital Distraction

    Fears of a bubble continue as tech titans reported their quarterly earnings; the culture of digital distraction finds more critics; and fallout from the Heartbleed bug raises questions for government.

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