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2012 Acura TSX posts record sales but Acura and Honda struggle

Acura's 2012 TSX sports sedan set a sales record with 2,691 units moving from U.S.-based showrooms in November, but the rest of the Japanese carmaker's lineup except for the RDX crossover SUV sold sluggishly to American buyers.

Meantime, Acura's larger parent, American Honda, also endured a bleak sales month, with the Civic the only car coming close to breaking even compared with month- and year-ago sales.

"The impact of the Thailand flooding on our North American production levels continued to be felt in November," John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of sales, told reporters in reviewing the sales picture.

"We're looking forward to closing the year on a strong note as production recovers and the all-new CR-V goes on sale."

The 2012 Honda Pilot was American Honda's lone bright spot as sales of the newly redesigned SUV blazed.

The TSX splurge, while a breath of fresh air for Honda's luxury marque, wasn't Herculean enough to lead Acura in total unit sales. That privilege went again to the MDX. A total of 3,308 units of Acura's luxury sport-utility truck were sold in America in November. But even in leading the Acura pack, MDX sales were down 24.2%.

Acura had one other good thing happen: It sold 1,326 RDX crossovers, a sales uptick of 7.6% over 2010.

Overall, Acura moved 4,761 trucks, a 17.3% drop. Acura's sale of 5,148 cars was 4.7% less than the month before. Total monthly Acura sales (9,909 cars and trucks combined) dropped 11.2% and total year-to-date sales reached 110,170. That's a 7.1% reduction.

After the TSX (pictured), the next-best-selling luxury car was the 2012 Acura TL, a performance luxury sedan. There were 2,412 TLs purchased from Acura, 4.8% fewer than last month.

U.S. buyers bought 83,925 Hondas in November, a 10.1% dip from October. Year-to-date sales hit just over 1 million at 1,042,055, only 5.7% lower than a year ago, despite numerous production challenges in 2011.

The Honda Division sold 74,016 vehicles in November, a 9.9% drop from November 2010. The Pilot remained popular with 10,487 trucks sold, up 32.6%. CR-V and Accord sales contributed to the carmaker's rollercoaster ride, falling by double digits (Accord, -17.9%; CR-V, -13.7%).

There were 17,133 Civics sold. That made the Civic Honda's best-selling automobile, but the high volume still was 0.7% below last month's sales total for the cute-as-a-button economy car.

Reach TN's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected] or (248) 747-1550. Follow him on Twitter @HawkeFracassa.

Image source: Acura