Here PDL AE rant of the week www.autoextremist.com
CHASING GHOSTS OF LEGENDS PAST.
DateTuesday, October 14, 2014 at 10:28AM
By Peter M. De Lorenzo
Detroit. After years of flailing around trying to be something it’s not, Acura, allegedly the best that Honda can muster as a car company has, according to industry sources and confirmed by Automotive News, alighted on a new strategy that will propel it into the future. The answer? All-wheel-drive.
Yes, Acura, seemingly completely out of ideas, has thrown up its hands and decided that it will pattern itself after Subaru and adopt all-wheel-drive across the board.
Wow, that’s some revelation.
Not that there aren’t some markets across the country where AWD is basically mandatory, and any manufacturer worth its salt has to offer it as a matter of course, but really? This is the brilliant idea that will solidify the Acura product strategy going forward?
I don’t get it.
Remember, this is the Honda Motor Company we’re talking about, a car company with a glittering history of innovative ideas and a corporate mantra of pushing the envelope on the race track – on two (Formula 1) and four (MotoGP) wheels – and on the street with advanced technology and clear-eyed future-think that propelled the company to greatness.
As a matter of fact, though it’s hard to believe now, at one point Honda was considered the Porsche of the Asian automakers, a company that mirrored the personality of its founder - an inspired maverick who marched to his own drummer - a company whose innovative mindset stood out in a sea of automakers that moved from one technical progression to the next without rhyme or reason, in lockstep with whatever the current thinking was at the time.
Honda was at once inspired and inspiring in this business, and Acura was supposed to be the best of Honda, so what happened?
Mediocrity happened. And corporate conservatism swallowed the Honda mindset whole. And Acura suffered exponentially because of it. Yesterday’s brilliant Acura NSX and hot Integra models gave way to a mind-numbing parade of forgettable sedans and crossovers wrapped in uninspired sheet metal that said nothing about “the best of Honda.” Instead, they said everything about filling a segment in a rote dance of being present and accounted for in the market, and little else.