Acura Expands Globally but Focus is on U.S. Sales

The Detroit Bureau

Honda/Acura deal­ers in the U.S. will be pleased to know the com­pa­ny is plac­ing spe­cial empha­sis on improv­ing sales here, with Ohio plant update and new mod­els in view.

Find out what Hon­da has planned for its Acu­ra brand in the Unit­ed States.

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.

Despite mixed reviews sales of the Acu­ra ILX have been gain­ing momen­tum.

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.”

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