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Honda January 2006 Sales

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American Honda Reports Record January Sales

Honda and Acura Divisions Post Record January Sales

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TORRANCE, Calif. 02/01/2006 --

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., posted record January sales of 98,394 Honda and Acura vehicles, up 20.7 percent from January 2005, the company announced today. Honda Division also broke records for the eighth consecutive month, with sales up 24.4 percent over January last year to 84,413 vehicles.

Honda Division light truck sales surged 17.6 percent to 37,124 on the strength of Pilot, Odyssey, and Element, while the redesigned 2006 Civic helped drive Honda car sales up 30.4 percent to 47,289 units.

"With annual sales increases for each of the past 12 years, we are committed to continued growth in 2006, despite an increasingly competitive market," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda. "Others in the industry are tightening their belts, but we remain committed to steady, incremental growth. The addition of new models, including the Fit in April and the all new CR-V in the fall should push us to another record year in 2006."

Increasing consumer awareness of the Honda Pilot as a class leader in safety content, coupled with the improved fuel economy offered by models equipped with Honda's Variable Cylinder Managementœ (VCMœ), contributed to Pilot's best-ever January with sales up 13.1 percent to 9,999. Sales of Element and Odyssey also grew 14.2 and 10.3 percent, respectively.

Recently named North American Car of the Year, the all-new 2006 Civic Sedan, Coupe and Hybrid models' combination of exciting styling and thrifty fuel economy helped push the Civic to another January record with sales up 56.2 percent, while Accord sales grew 9.8 percent.

Acura Division posted record January sales of 13,981 vehicles, an increase of 2.3 percent over January 2005. Strong sales of Acura's performance luxury sedans helped set a new monthly record of 10,140 for total cars, breaking a 16-year-old record of 10,087 set in 1990.

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That'll happen when:

1) Your luxury flagship car looks too much like your mainstream midsize sedan...

2) You don't have the cachet of any of your main luxury rivals (BMW, MB, Lexus, Infiniti, Caddy)...

3) You lack a V8 option.

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Sales were pretty strong in terms of percentage increase, but last January was terrible for Honda. 15k Civics and 20k Accords? It's not good if your two top selling vehicles only combine for 35k sales when you're a mainstream brand.

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I think Honda may see a bigger increase in sales, this year, than Toyota.. The RL is a nice, high-tech car, but it's too small..

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Well, why buy an RL over a TL or better yet, a real luxury car from Infiniti, Cadillac, et al?

Its Acura's own fault anyway. When you drop names to focus on "building brand equity" a few models are always bound to get lost in the mix like this and the MDX. Its also pretty expensive with bland, Accord looks, and a V6. Yeah, the DTS is FWD as well, but not only is it distinctive and has a V8, but it knows what it wants to be. The previous RL and old Legend were boulevard cruisers. What is the new RL supposed to be?

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Well, why buy an RL over a TL or better yet, a real luxury car from Infiniti, Cadillac, et al?

The problem is the RL comes with everything standard, which might scare some people off. Unfortunately nobody seems to look at the feature list when comparing it. It may be better for AHM to optionalize some of the less wanted features to get the price down.

Acura has always been a sport-minded luxury brand. They make real luxury cars, similar to how BMW makes real luxury cars, with an emphasis on driving. Their flagship may not be as expensive or come with as big of an engine as others, but that in no way means it doesn't stack up well to other cars in its price range. It did good in this comparo beating out many rivals coming in 2nd to the Infiniti.

Its also pretty expensive with bland, Accord looks, and a V6. Yeah, the DTS is FWD as well

The RL isn't FWD. And I personally like the way it looks. As for the price, look at the feature list and stop comparing it to an Accord.

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Acura has always been a sport-minded luxury brand. They make real luxury cars, similar to how BMW makes real luxury cars, with an emphasis on driving. Their flagship may not be as expensive or come with as big of an engine as others, but that in no way means it doesn't stack up well to other cars in its price range. It did good in this comparo beating out many rivals coming in 2nd to the Infiniti.

Unfortunately, comparo results don't necessarily equal sales as the RL has borne out. And while as a whole Acura may have been always sport luxury intender (I would compare it more to Audi than BMW myself), the RL brand has not. The last iteration was rather large, rather compliant, and rather underpowered for the price.

The 'real' luxury car comment is intended to call to mind the two features that the vast majority of buyers agree upon as requisite - rear-wheel drive and a V8, and if you don't have the former, you sure as hell better have the latter. On the spreadsheet, its a very but-heavy entry as in "lots of features, but look at the price" or "sounds like it handles great, but only AWD" or "lots of horsepower, but its a V6." Regardless of the power coming from a six, the eight-cylinder car carries beaucoup prestige in any circle. This is without a doubt and something that hurts Acura in the true luxury circle.

The looks are another problem with the car. There's nothing inherently ugly about the styling, especially compared to BMW's gaudy flagship, but that 7er does have presence, good or bad. So does the S-Class. And the XJ, Q45, DeVille, and STS. Even the Town Car. The LSs have never been anything special, but they at least appeared large. The RL suggests a much smaller car than it actually is and one doesn't have to look hard to see it is rather bland and nondescript. Even the last RL and the Legends of the past had more befitting exterior girth.

Speaking of which, you also do have to fault Acura for totally raping its most well-known model or any and all identity when it dropped the Legend nameplate for 'RL,' a totally meaningless designation. I believe one of the reasons was the Legend and Integra nameplates were gaining too much cred over the Acura brand itself. Again, this name change and the mediocre outgoing RL makes this very good Legend a total unknown.

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That'll happen when:

1) Your luxury flagship car looks too much like your mainstream midsize sedan...

2) You don't have the cachet of any of your main luxury rivals (BMW, MB, Lexus, Infiniti, Caddy)...

3) You lack a V8 option.

EXACTLY......

And Honda is STILL too arrogant about it to SUCK IT UP and design a real premium sedan with RWD and a V8 engine.

I would SO pick a loaded TL 10-times over an RL. I even like the TL's styling much better.

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The RL isn't FWD. And I personally like the way it looks. As for the price, look at the feature list and stop comparing it to an Accord.

The RL (SH-AWD or not) is FWD-based. No matter how you tinker with power/torque distribution in an AWD platform, you can't make it feel like a RWD car.

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The RL (SH-AWD or not) is FWD-based.  No matter how you tinker with power/torque distribution in an AWD platform, you can't make it feel like a RWD car.

That's because it shouldn't feel like a RWD car. It should feel like a completely balanced AWD car (not that all AWD cars are balanced, this one uses an active system to make it so). The idea is to make it better than RWD. FWD-based or not, it is not a FWD car, nor is it designed to mimick a RWD car. sh-awd, RL around the track

I don't expect Honda, regardless of how much pressure is put on them, to design a copy-cat. I don't call it arrogance, even if it may not be the best option (no doubt they could do better with a RWD V8), there may be more to it, like where Honda plans on taking the Acura brand in the future. Honda may save RWD for its sports cars only, and all of its Lux cars in the future may be SH-AWD.

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