MDX sales carry Acura Division through slow March
Working in and around the auto industry for the better part of 3 decades toughens the proverbial skin a-bit. When it comes to production, versus dealership sales numbers, we take reported sales numbers with a grain of salt. They don’t weigh much in predicting sales momentum for the balance of the year.
Looking closely at ‘sales to date’ numbers released by American Honda Motors on April Fools Day, (no joke) we discover that the “number one luxury car maker by letter,” is not an exception to the first quarter sales blues.
While the MDX SUV is kicking butt on the sales lot, the balance of the line recorded negative sales figures for March. Is this a reflection on the quality of product or value received for the dollar spent? Not necessarily.
In the car sales business, January comes to a screeching halt following “end of the year” close out sales and “ Holiday, Christmas savings events. As the last 2013 models roll off of the lot in January and February, sales die off a bit as car buyers wait for the arrival of new models and subsequent factory discount and lease incentives.
Example: A nicely equipped MDX is available to well qualified lessees for $459 per month for 36 months, with $3499.00 due at signing. Not bad for an SUV that will go toe to toe with an Audi 6 or BMW 5 Series.
As to the rest of us, the auto industry depends on early (estimated) income tax returns and rebates to generate sales in March and early April.
With the release and arrival of 2014 Honda and Acura models arriving in mid March, sales pick up a bit as customers take delivery of their new cars.
Reading between the lines we discover that the RLX, MDX and RDX kept Acura in the red while the balance of the line struggled to find even numbers.
In looking at the big picture, Acura is tiny. Domestic Acura sales at 15,580 contribute less than 15% to American Honda Motors sales total for March. None the less, the 80.69 % increase for MDX sales for the month is impressive.
Another Words, Acura is quickly morphing into the small and midsize SUV of choice in North America, while the verdict remains out on the car sector of the line.