- Barry (the Carguy) Thomas
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Feb 13: Acura - Where to now?
Where to now, Acura?
Way back in 1989 Honda joined most of the other Japanese car companies in introducing its own luxury brand......Acura. Kind of rolls off the tongue doesn't it, no matter which way you pronounce it. They had two models, the Legend shown above and the smaller Integra. Off to a good start (after all they were Hondas), they sold well for a number of years, but there was a problem. Some marketing genius (and let's not take that term too literally), decided that there should be a name change. This is where it gets interesting.
Seems that when asked, folks said they drove an Integra or a Legend without adding the Acura name. Ask a 328 owner what they drive and they'll say a BMW, same with Benz and Lexus.Not good for brand recognition, so they changed the Acura model names. The Legend became the RL and promptly disappeared off the sales charts never to recover. Until now? Behold the new RLX........
Following along with current Acura styling cues and dropping the price by thousands, they hope to jump start the RLX sales by pushing the value button. Not a bad strategy, but will it work?
The beloved Integra became a very slightly revised Civic called the CSX and sold only in Canada. The US didn't get this model, since they probably would have seen through the mild disguise. Now that price point has been taken over by the relatively new ILX, which is also sold in the US.......
Still based on the Civic platform, but so different as not to be an issue. Attractive, well priced and well finished. Not sure why, but this model has apparently failed to ignite Acura sales in this segment State side.
The TL was redone in '09 to mixed reviews on the polarizing styling, while lauded for its handling. I have the SH-AWD version. Love the power, the look and the ride/handling. For some reason (and this is not typical), mine has been as close to a lemon as any car I've ever had. Surprising for a Honda product. Revised again recently, it seems to be holding its own in the market.
Acura's big players are the sport utilities and the MDX concept shown at the Detroit show continues a very winning formula.......
So Acura knows sport utes, but they must be crossing their fingers, hoping that they'll get their car mojo back in the very near future. They do have a great plan to drive people into their showrooms, but it is a year or two away. Here is the plan.......
Yep, the next NSX. Any car this exotic will bring in the lookers, but then the sales staff will have to make them buyers of the other cars in the Acura line up. There is no way to over estimate the value of sexy eye candy and its ability to draw people into the showroom. It works every time.
So where to now Acura? New models and price reconfiguring. Hopefully Acura will be able to stabilize their line up and follow Lexus to the sales success that Acura must envy. Time, as always, will tell.
Until next time.....