Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

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Thread: Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

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    News Contributor BlackGTP's Avatar
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    Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

    Acura bets on China, but still focused on US
    Paul A. Eisenstein , The Detroit Bureau

    Honda’s long-struggling luxury brand Acura reportedly plans to start building cars in China in 2016, targeting what is soon expected to become the world’s largest market for highline vehicles.

    But Acura officials insist that even as they look for other opportunities abroad, they are increasing their focus on what has traditionally been their largest market, the United States. They’re backing that up with an assortment of new products that will soon include an all-new version of the once ground-breaking supercar, the Acura NSX.

    Honda plans to invest about $70 million on its flagship plant in Marysville, Ohio to get ready for the re-launch, late next year, of the revived NSX. The sleek, 2-seat sports car was once a showpiece of Asian automotive prowess and lent a halo to Honda’s Acura division, the first Japanese brand to target the demanding luxury market. But after a 15-year-run, the NSX was pulled from production in 2005 a move that coincided with Acura’s sharp downturn, leading some to wonder whether it could survive, especially as the automotive market plunged into recession.

    The decision to bring the supercar back – and to power the next-generation NSX with a cutting-edge hybrid drivetrain – highlights Honda’s push to rebuild the brand, a move backed by a number of new and updated models, including the all-new RLX flagship sedan.

    “We witnessed the rise and fall of Acura sales over the last decade,” says Mike Accavitti, who joined American Honda as its Chief Marketing Officer two years ago and has since focused much of his attention on the luxury brand. “We began to realize we had to clarify the brand direction which was, over time, diluted.”

    While Acura was the first Japanese luxury brand when it debuted in 1986, it has become a weak second-tier player compared to Toyota’s Lexus brand, never mind dominant European highline marques Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

    The struggling Japanese maker’s challenge has been to reposition itself with new product and get back on the radar screen of potential buyers who had plenty of other options to choose from. While two concept versions of the NSX have been big draws on the auto show circuit over the last 18 months, it still won’t be in showrooms for quite a while.

    More at link: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/acur...-us-6C10707628
    Last edited by BlackGTP; 07-22-2013 at 09:42 PM.

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    Re: Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

    "And, indeed, Acura officials caution they don’t expect a quick return to the first tier of luxury brands"

    The above is from the 2nd to last paragraph of the article.

    Somewhere along the line I missed when Acura was ever top tier or even a luxury brand.

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    Re: Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

    Reminds me of a magazine referring to Acura being a "purveyor of Accords in varying degrees of ugly"
    '07 Subaru Forester 2.5X 5MT. Bought new. 197k miles. '05 Dodge Durango Limited Hemi AWD. Mom bought new. 102k miles. '74 Buick LeSabre Luxus convertible. 455-4/7.5L. '89 Buick Reatta. 3800 SII L67/F40 six speed swap to be completed someday. Wife's: '07 Subaru Forester XT. World Rally Blue Mica.

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    Re: Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

    Quote Originally Posted by F14CRAZY View Post
    Reminds me of a magazine referring to Acura being a "purveyor of Accords in varying degrees of ugly"
    Even their new RL (I sat in it at the NY Auto Show) has a Honda-ness to it, though I wouldn't call it ugly. I don't get why Acura can't figure out that their cars won't be accepted as upscale until they stop looking like warmed over Hondas.

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    Re: Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGTP View Post
    "And, indeed, Acura officials caution they don’t expect a quick return to the first tier of luxury brands"

    The above is from the 2nd to last paragraph of the article.

    Somewhere along the line I missed when Acura was ever top tier or even a luxury brand.
    I would've guessed they managed that in Honda's home market (until Lexus showed up), but Acuras aren't sold in Japan.

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    Re: Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

    The NSX is great but premature because Acura doesn't have the products to sell even if the NSX excites some people. Halo cars work as bait when you have other vehicles that people might want to buy. No one has cared about Acura for a while outside of a little respect for the TL and MDX.

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    Re: Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

    I wonder how well this will be received poltically. lol
    Hey, you gotta watch that man...He'll go coastal on ya

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    Re: Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

    And by "focused" they mean selling over priced Honda's with beaks on them?

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    Re: Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

    Quote Originally Posted by jzchev28 View Post
    And by "focused" they mean selling over priced Honda's with beaks on them?
    they look much better after that 2009 beak was toned down
    '07 Subaru Forester 2.5X 5MT. Bought new. 197k miles. '05 Dodge Durango Limited Hemi AWD. Mom bought new. 102k miles. '74 Buick LeSabre Luxus convertible. 455-4/7.5L. '89 Buick Reatta. 3800 SII L67/F40 six speed swap to be completed someday. Wife's: '07 Subaru Forester XT. World Rally Blue Mica.

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    Re: Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

    Quote Originally Posted by CaddyLac10 View Post
    The NSX is great but premature because Acura doesn't have the products to sell even if the NSX excites some people. Halo cars work as bait when you have other vehicles that people might want to buy. No one has cared about Acura for a while outside of a little respect for the TL and MDX.
    However, exact comment to those people who think Cadillac needs to get a rear engined sports car and a super Cadillac (Rolls Royce level) ASAP. Caddy needs to get it's basics right first then go for the super cars.

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    Re: Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGTP View Post
    However, exact comment to those people who think Cadillac needs to get a rear engined sports car and a super Cadillac (Rolls Royce level) ASAP. Caddy needs to get it's basics right first then go for the super cars.
    True enough. To be fair though, Cadillac is nixing the Rolls/Bentley fighter and there is no known mid-engined sports car in development...Acura on the other hand is pressing with the NSX.

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    Re: Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

    Quote Originally Posted by oklapike View Post
    True enough. To be fair though, Cadillac is nixing the Rolls/Bentley fighter and there is no known mid-engined sports car in development...Acura on the other hand is pressing with the NSX.
    Yep, and I question Acura's decision to devote all these resources to such a limited vehicle when the rest of their lineup is so very much lacking.

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    Re: Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

    I remember reading somewhere around a few months ago that Acura had enjoyed a sales increase in China and I want to say the MDX was a/the main driver of that. Don't quite remember.

    Either way, focusing on the TL, RLX, and their SUVs in China will be the best models on which to focus. The TL really needs to return more to what the 04-08 model was like. The ILX will have its work cut out for it to replace the TSX's sales prowess (or at least it used to be a pretty decent seller IIRC). The new RDX is doing pretty well and we'll see how the MDX does. The RLX is another matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amphibian View Post
    I remember reading somewhere around a few months ago that Acura had enjoyed a sales increase in China and I want to say the MDX was a/the main driver of that. Don't quite remember.

    Either way, focusing on the TL, RLX, and their SUVs in China will be the best models on which to focus. The TL really needs to return more to what the 04-08 model was like. The ILX will have its work cut out for it to replace the TSX's sales prowess (or at least it used to be a pretty decent seller IIRC). The new RDX is doing pretty well and we'll see how the MDX does. The RLX is another matter.
    It is but damn seeing those on the road, they look sharp with the jewel eye headlights on drl mode. Pictures don't do it justice IMO. I think it looks much better in person than in anyone's pics. Again just my view, but they surely have their work cut out. It could also be that I was expecting to hate it, given what's been said, and my not hating it is making it look better in my mind than it otherwise would be. Either way I hated the RL. Bleh. Lol

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    Re: Acura bets on China, but still focused on US

    Quote Originally Posted by cad1cts View Post
    It is but damn seeing those on the road, they look sharp with the jewel eye headlights on drl mode. Pictures don't do it justice IMO. I think it looks much better in person than in anyone's pics. Again just my view, but they surely have their work cut out. It could also be that I was expecting to hate it, given what's been said, and my not hating it is making it look better in my mind than it otherwise would be. Either way I hated the RL. Bleh. Lol

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    Referring to the RLX? I think it's a handsome sedan myself, but at the same time Acura should probably have come up with a different product. The thing is, the next TL will probably still start at about 36K and be a midsize product. The RLX has the extra space now and continues to have a cabin that is befitting of the price increase, but there were some puzzling choices. Why does the "regular" V-6 have no AWD option? They may address that later. Overall, to truly separate it from the TL I might have gone for a more dramatic RLX product, more like an A7 than just a large luxury sedan that goes up more or less against the MKS and XTS, maybe the 5-Series GT too.

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