Acura Has Strong 2010; Big Plans Coming
Although the automaker isn’t competing for the top selling luxury marquee this year, sales are up 24 percent. That’s more growth than BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. With sales up, Acura is planning on making some changes, in the hopes to become a ‘Tier 1’ luxury brand.
The company had originally planned on moving up-market in 2008, but the financial crisis put a stop to those plans. Today, it’s hard to really put a finger on what Acura is about, but the automaker is working hard on becoming simply upgraded Hondas.
Obviously, those that have eyes will admit that Acura’s styling is controversial. That’s why design will be the company’s first major area of improvement. According to a report in J.D. Power Avoider Study, half of all buyers that walked away from Acura showrooms cited poor exterior styling.
The company also needs to work on its model lineup. Basically, it’s hard to find a reason to buy the RL, when the TL is just as good. So, in order to solve this problem, Acura will need to eliminate the product overlap between the TSX, TL and the RL.
The company’s revival will start in 2011 with a redesigned TL and a new RL in 2012. There might also be a new entry-level model, similar to the wonderful RSX.
"Within two or three years, it will be quite clear which Acura is which," Jim Smail, president of Smail Auto Group in Greensburg, Pa said to Automotive News.