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Acura News: American Honda CEO Outlines Plan To Fix Acura


William Maley

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William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

December 2, 2013

Speaking with reporters at the Tokyo Motor Show a couple weeks ago, American Honda CEO Tetsuo Iwamura said for him, "The big challenge is Acura.

Acura has seen it sales increase six percent so far this year to 135,126 vehicles. However, the brand still trails in sales when compared to brands such as Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus.

So what does Iwamura have in mind for Acura? To start, Iwamura wants to strengthen and grow Acura's presence in the U.S. and China, the two markets where the brand sells vehicles.

To pull this off in the U.S., Acura needs to work on its sedans. Iwamura admits that sales of the ILX haven't been forming as well as the company expected and the RLX needs to do better. The hope is that upcoming RLX Sport Hybrid will bring in more customers.

The big hope for Acura is the introduction of the new TLX sedan which will take the place of the TSX and TL sedans. The new model will be introduced sometime next year and will help Acura have three distinct sedans; a compact, mid-size, and full-size.

One area that Acura doesn't need to focus on for the time being is their SUV lineup. The RDX and MDX currently make up 60 percent of total sales for the brand.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Motor Trend

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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They could start by building auto's that actually have style not the Buck Tooth Hick look. They could also build performance and High Mileage auto's that are true luxury and can really fit large people. 6'6" tall does not fit into Acura. I know since I have tried many times with my friends who have the MDX and no one can sit behind me since with the chair all the way back there is only a couple inches from the seat back to the back seat and since I cannot sit upright, I have to be partially reclined and so over all the auto might be well built, but for small people.

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First step is admitting you have a problem.

True. Wonder, though, what kind of brand positioning is Honda thinking of: step-up from Honda like it is today (only better executed), or will they risk setting up a dedicated luxury brand? Second option would be immensely expensive if the engineering isn't somehow shared with the Honda brand...

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Honda neds to rethink about what made Acura click.

Sporty yet luxurious machines having simple design with capabilities at 9/10 of the full fledged luxury automobiles at 8/10 their price with bulletproof reliability. Add to that fully loaded car with limited options gave a solid value proposition making Acura a cult in the 90s. Stop the distractions like the ZDX, they are not needed as Honda can take volume part.

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Acura's biggest problem is Benz.. not Buick.. not Lexus.

Why would you buy an ILX when for just a little more money or pretty much the same lease payment you could get a CLA? I can pick up an RDX for $399 a month or a GLX for $399 a month.... and that's way before we get to RLX v. E-Class comparisons.

Forget all of SMK's unimportant numbers/fetures that he likes to get stuck on and think of it from a badge snob's perspective. The CLA doesn't even have to be a good, much less great, car to beat Acura in this segment. It simply has to start reliably for the first 36 months of ownership till the lease is up. Acura is peddling mildly re-worked Civics and CR-Vs with broughmy leather. Even the Cadillacs that SMK likes to knock on (SRX and XTS) feel like Cadillacs when you sit in them and drive them. People don't sit in an XTS and say "this feels like an Impala" The ILX and RDX feel like Hondas.

Acura simply cannot compete with Benz or Cadillac or Lexus in this area for that reason alone. Horsepower doesn't matter, quality barely matters, FWD/RWD/AWD doesn't matter....

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what the f-k is a TLX?

I did like the previous TL. And the TSX. But neither would fly to the top of the list when confronted with other choices.

Acura, Buick, Lincoln are the types of brands that do not stand out against the first tier of luxury makes. They probably have more appeal to brand loyal Chevy, Ford, and Honda fans who want a nicer car. (not knocking Buick there as Cadillac is the GM brand).

Infiniti is sort of on the same path. What the eff are they doing? Strangely enough, Lexus seems to be trying to do some things to keep a pole position in the luxury market. Only if to be able to keep the doors open to sell more crossovers.

I do think it is sort of to the point where Honda may actually improve the Acura or premium Honda models popularity by combining the sales channel in some locations. When the RLX is your flagship and your mainstream sedan is not a TL but now a TLX? when really the names Integra, Legend, Vigor, still hold much more cache ...........

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Honda neds to rethink about what made Acura click.

Sporty yet luxurious machines having simple design with capabilities at 9/10 of the full fledged luxury automobiles at 8/10 their price with bulletproof reliability. Add to that fully loaded car with limited options gave a solid value proposition making Acura a cult in the 90s. Stop the distractions like the ZDX, they are not needed as Honda can take volume part.

Gotta agree.....it's a honda with extra tech....

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what the f-k is a TLX?

I did like the previous TL. And the TSX. But neither would fly to the top of the list when confronted with other choices.

Acura, Buick, Lincoln are the types of brands that do not stand out against the first tier of luxury makes. They probably have more appeal to brand loyal Chevy, Ford, and Honda fans who want a nicer car. (not knocking Buick there as Cadillac is the GM brand).

Infiniti is sort of on the same path. What the eff are they doing? Strangely enough, Lexus seems to be trying to do some things to keep a pole position in the luxury market. Only if to be able to keep the doors open to sell more crossovers.

I do think it is sort of to the point where Honda may actually improve the Acura or premium Honda models popularity by combining the sales channel in some locations. When the RLX is your flagship and your mainstream sedan is not a TL but now a TLX? when really the names Integra, Legend, Vigor, still hold much more cache ...........

Agree that the names hold more emotion, yet even then they were still over priced luxury Honda Versions. Acura needs to truly stop rebadging Honda and go their own way with body style and interiors that set it apart if they want to be a contender.

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    • By William Maley
      For the past decade, Acura has felt lost at sea. Not sure of what it wanted to be as a brand. This was shown by mixed messaging in their lineup as they weren’t sure to focus on luxury, technology, or sport. This muddled mess of identities would cause a fair amount of issues. But in the past couple of years, Acura started to get its act together thanks in part to new leadership. The first fruits of their efforts came last year in the form of the third-generation RDX. 
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      You Want Presence? You Got It!
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      Cozy, Polarizing Interior
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      The turbo-four is quite a potent engine with little turbo lag when leaving a stop and a seemingly endless amount of power for any situation. The ten-speed automatic is very smooth and quick when upshifting. But it does stumble somewhat when you need a quick shot of speed. 
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      Welcome Back Acura
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      It does give me hope that Acura is figuring out who it wants to be and excited to see what comes down the road such as the new TLX.
      How I Would Configure An RDX: For me, I would basically take the exact RDX tester seen here. That will set me back $47,195 after adding destination and $400.00 paint option. Everyone else should look at the Technology package that will get you most of the safety equipment that is part of Acurawatch, along with a 12-speaker ELS audio system, navigation, and parking sensors. It will not break the bank at $41,000 for FWD or $43,000 for AWD.
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      Year: 2020
      Make: Acura
      Model: RDX
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      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve VTEC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: 10-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
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      Options:
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