By on May 27, 2013

Acura_NSX_concept_--_2012_NYIAS

When the NSX was last available for sale, the rest of the world knew it as a Honda product. But now that the next-generation NSX is intended to be a flagship for the Acura brand, Honda has run into a small problem – Acura doesn’t exist in much of the world.

So far, Acura has expanded into China, Hong Kong and Mexico. Plans are in place to roll the brand out in Russia, the Ukraine and the Middle East, but Western Europe is off limits for now due to the region’s economic slump. But plans are in place to roll out the Ohio-built next generation NSX across the globe, and Honda will have to make a decision about whether to badge it as a Honda (like last time) or roll it out as a stand-alone Acura vehicle.

Honda dealers in the UK are reportedly taking orders for the car already, despite not having any distribution for Acura products. One way or another, it seems like the NSX will get a global roll-out.

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39 Comments on “NSX Gives Acura A Branding Headache...”


  • avatar
    wsn

    If it’s a great car, brand doesn’t matter. Just like last time, some people chose Honda NSX over Ferrari 348.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      About 3. Which is about how many will this time too. Waste of time and energy on Honda’s part. Just roll the whole Acura line back into Honda and give it up as a lost cause.

      • 0 avatar
        ZoomZoom

        But I like the Acura “H” icon better than the Honda “A” icon. Yeah, they’re that interchangeable.

        By the way, this NSX pic is gorgeous. I’d consider it if it were a hybrid or at least had autostop. Yeah. I sit in line behind far too many cellphone cathys at far too many 5 minute red lights. There are some trips I make where I’ve sat still longer than I’ve been in motion. I blame bad drivers who get in front of me then slow down.

        • 0 avatar
          Piqutchi

          You’re in luck, as I believe Honda is planning on making the next NSX a hybrid (with a V6 engine)!

        • 0 avatar
          darkwing

          Yep, it’s only going to be available as a hybrid. The V6 drives the two rear wheels; the two front wheels are powered by electric motors.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I believe that’s the same propulsion system that’s set to power the yet-to-be-released 2014 Acura RLX all-wheel-drive, as well as the upcoming 2014 Acura MDX all-wheel-drive. It’s supposed to make V8-like power.

      • 0 avatar

        Acura is very popular brand where I live (SF Bay area). They look outdated and tired already, even brand new, but lot of folks think it is an affordable BMW (not unlike Pontiac – some thought it was a Cadillac for less money).

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      You’re correct. The NSX was considered BETTER than Ferrari:

      “”It’s the best sports car the world has ever produced. Any time. Any place. Any price.” Fuller went on to say that the NSX is “more of an achievement” than the 1955 Gullwing and the 1977 Porsche 928, and that the sporty Acura is “far better than any Ferrari or Lamborghini ever built; it makes the Corvette ZR1 look like something contrived under a shade tree.”
      http://www.motortrend.com/classic/features/1112_1991_acura_nsx_and_1991_lexus_ls_400/viewall.html#ixzz2UXbuVC2Y

      Better than a Ferrari and reliable.

    • 0 avatar
      CarnotCycle

      Ferrari 348 was Ferrari’s nadir while NSX was pinnacle of Honda in cars. Odd their trajectories crossed right then, Ferrari beginning its rebirth-ascent and Honda slowly losing their way – a good contrast.

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    Nice-looking car, at least from this angle. I like it better than most of the current Ferrari or Lambo designs.

  • avatar

    Where’s the problem? Sell it as an Acura where Acura is a brand, sell it as a Honda in the rest of the world.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      I think Derek’s point is Honda would like the NSX to help the Acura brand image, but it will have a tough time doing that if it is sold as Honda in some markets.

      I agree that this doesn’t seem like a big deal though. If Honda is OK with something like the ILX, how can selling the NSX as a Honda be a problem?

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I think that Honda has future plans to enter Acura into markets that are currently off-limits (like the aforementioned Western Europe), and feels that it will regret not having badged the NSX as an Acura when that happens. The NSX would be a great asset for launching the Acura brand, and it might add to the allure and exotic nature of the car if it were the only Acura in certain markets…

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        The problem is that Acura doesn’t have a product lineup suitable for Europe. What they have is mainly rebadged Accords, CR-V and Pilots for the US market. What they need in Europe is smaller hatchbacks, wagons and efficient diesel power trains.

      • 0 avatar

        Acura is already there as a Honda Accord – this is an identical car.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Well that’s just it. Yes, one would wonder what, besides the NSX, would be sold in Europe under the Acura brand. They’ve already got the TSX as their Accord, the ZDX is being discontinued, the TL and ILX probably wouldn’t sell, and the RDX and RLX are too Americanized. With a few interior and styling upgrades, the outgoing MDX could have been a nice car for Europe, but the new one has moved from being a rugged X5/Cayenne/Touareg/ML-Class competitor to a soft people-carrier, a la Buick Enclave and Infiniti JX.

  • avatar
    carguy

    The reality is that Acura is still very much a North American semi-luxury brand which of late hasn’t been doing as well as it should. By all means badge the NSX as an Acura in this market as it will help the brand.

    In Europe, however, the Acura name is not only unknown but Acura also doesn’t really have a product range to suit that market. However, with the predicted demise of the Euro Accord, the Honda brand needs all the help it can get so having the NSX badged as a Honda in Europe (and anywhere outside of N America) makes perfect sense.

  • avatar
    darkwing

    Why not pull a reverse Genesis?

  • avatar
    redliner

    Brand it an Acura worldwide, but sell it at Honda dealers where Acura is non-existent. Seems simple to me. It will bring in foot traffic to the Honda dealers, while introducing Acura as a super-Honda in peoples minds outside of the USA.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    I would prefer if this American Acura badge engineering experiment was put out of its fugly misery and ALL the models went back to being Hondas. And I say that as a loyal Acura owner on only my second Acura since 1992…

  • avatar

    Honda. The main brand name needs its flagship vehicle.

  • avatar
    krayzie

    The entire Acura line-up after 20+ years has now become one big science project. All cars end with “X” as in experimental lol! Honda it’s not too late to go back!

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    With that big “Derrr…” grille I’d sooner call this a production Mazda Furai than an NSX, Honda should strip it out and sell the NSX as a Honda to get some excitement back into its brand, while producing a luxury coupe from old Honda S2000 tooling to get a nice sportsluxury Acura out there.

    This way both brands will have a slight image for excitement rather than their current image of “boring” and Acuras “Deerrr we happy errrr…”.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Honda is losing its way in Europe slowly but steadily, caught like Ford and GM as being mainstream without any particular cachet, to whit a BMW, Audi, Mercedes or even VW badge. Sure the cars may be mechanically good, but the local snobs buy the prestige makes for a few dollars more per month, helped particularly in the UK by the ubiquitous company car deals. It has a 1.3% market share in Europe and is having its lunch eaten by Hyundai/Kia. Nissan is doing OK because of the Qashqai, Toyota mumbles along as does Mazda. Subaru and Mitsubishi are dead in the water there.

    If you read UK websites, Honda is overpriced, they’ve cut out the small dealers who used to cater to the geriatric set and their Civics, and are basically like a deer caught in the headlights, nervous and unsure which way to go. They know their cars are unsuitable for quote sophisticated unquote consumers, but have no budget to design cars much different than they sell in the USA. Remember, they don’t have a big chaebol backing them up like Mitsubishi or even Mazda has in a pinch. They’re independent and HAVE to earn a profit to survive.

    They’re also indecisive yet pig-headed. Witness Acura in the US. Everybody hated the beak on the TL four years ago. Apparently unable to read or accept criticism, Acura repeated this mistake over and over again, finally resulting in the s**tbucket ILX. They now only really sell warmed over CRVs with a beak and the MDX. The new RLX is a complete WTF.

    Are sentient people at the helm of Acura? It would seem not. Like Honda in Europe, they obstinately refuse to change, somehow believing that engineering excellence in a line of dull cars which stupid customers should recognize as the best will sell. Uh, no. Honda/Acura won’t change, the customers should change instead seems to be the big plan.

    So, they say to themselves in blind panic, let’s get back into Formula 1 (and waste money they don’t have) and develop a new NSX which they might as well market as The Whippet for all the good it’ll do them. They are trying to use their engineering talents to persuade people to buy dull as dishwater Civics and Fits. One test drive will drive prospects away in Europe.

    Honda doesn’t do bling. If they want to survive, they’re going to have to learn to do just that, because people are impressionable. Luckily for them the grey po-faced people of North America buy unexciting cars, the rest of the world not so much. They want some pride of ownership beyond reliability and resale value, and right now, Honda is not delivering, with the possible exception of the new Accord.

    They’re going to have to buck up, and soon. The NSX is pure distraction, and will be as comparable to a Ferrari as the RLX is to a BMW 335iS. This is not 1990.

    • 0 avatar

      The People of North America shop cars like appliances – they want something cheap that has no problems for the first 200K miles. They also think that light and numb steering is the sign of luxury. In other countries car is more like entertainment than everyday necessity – you can happily live without a car and use public transportation – even in Japan – the stronghold of appliances. Saying all that consider North American tastes about almost anything – furniture, food, beer and etc and compare it to Europe. Honda is the Budweiser of cars. People who grew up in NA do not see just because they used to it. I remember test driving European Honda Accord and my impression was of a boring tin box with engine from sewing machine (in comparison to Audi, Passat, Mondeo and even Opel Vectra, Audi especially impressed me). Now, they want to compete with Audi. Good luck.

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        Take the current TSX Mark 2, the so-called Euro Accord, which is made in Japan for North America sales. I find it an utter dog of a car compared to the Mark 1. It doesn’t have the Earth Dreams engine like the new Accord, the steering is utterly numb, and it’s noisy on the highway. Nicely made mediocrity. As nasty as finding the upholstery on my brother’s G37 tacked up with staples for $45K.

        If anyone dares to go to the What Car website

        http://m.whatcar.com/;fitScript=0/car-makes

        and select Honda (or any other make for that matter) you can read reviews that get down to the nitty gritty. Euro Accord, 2 stars out of 5, Civic 3. Kia Soul 1 star! However, most Hyundais 3 or 4. New Mazda6 just 3. All the Asian makes fare poorly except Mazda CX-5 which gets the full 5 (guess Baruth was right). Chevy Cruze 2 stars.

        Living in the North American bubble, we think we’re living in hog heaven, but as my current car shopping expedition shows, we get the most dumbed down vehicles unless you pay a fortune. My problem is when I read What Car reviews, I know what they’re getting at.

        And the new feted Mk 7 Golf we’re getting will be made in Mexico. Great. That’ll take them 2 years to sort out, and we’ll probably get the cheapo torsion-beam rear axle like the current Jetta.

        • 0 avatar

          Exactly. I call it the Pontiac syndrome (when people think some crap is a luxury item because they do not know better). BTW compare 2 stars received by Accord to 5 stars received by Mondeo. It is the significant difference. So in Britain (and I am sure on the continent too) journalists consider Ford Mondeo to be a better family car than Accord by the significant margin (Accord probably would end up last in the family car comparo test) while in US Accord beats Fusion in every US magazine comparo. And note that in Europe they actually compare Acura TSX with Ford Fusion. May be Acura TSX is much worse than new Accord except they are probably are all the same.

          I find new Accord’s interior bad both in quality and design while US car journalists find it amazingly luxurious and most ergonomic among midsize sedans. Do we live on different planets or what?

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            The Fusion has inferior engines and build. Hard to fake that.

            CR went so far to say that they found Fusion assembly unusually poor for a modern car. They advised waiting one or two years to buy a Fusion while they sort the bugs out and then realize the inevitable big discounts.

            btw, the British auto press is incredibly chauvinistic. British cars are, as a rule, severely, laughably overrated in home rags. Current case in point, the Mondeo.

            I always marveled how CAR would rate Jags above Mercedes or Audis or BMW’s while the rest of the world knew better, that contemporary Jags were style over substance. And now they really don’t even have that.

          • 0 avatar

            May be just Europeans including British are more sophisticated? Worlds most luxurious cars are made in England so I assume they know something about cars. Do you think in Germany Accord would do better than Mondeo? I highly doubt that. Few years ago I saw midsize comparo on DW – Accord was the dead last. Ahead of Honda were Vectra and Peugeot. Mondeo was thrid after Audi A4 and Passat.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      Honda let its main vehicles and panache wither on the vines when they went down the road of hybrids staring 13 years ago (and more recently airplanes). It’s been an incessant drain on engineering talent and dilution of what people came to love what a Honda was. They would be in much better shape and more competitive if they spurned the hybrid “me too” game and instead focused on making their core products better.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Whenever I face a branding quandary, I think: “What would Chrysler have done in the mid-90′s?” And the answer is, sell both a Honda NSX and also an Acura NSX, completely identical except for the badge.

    It worked so well for the Neon, which could be either a Dodge or a Plymouth, so it has to work on anything else.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Acura really needs this car, especially in North America.

    It seems like an easy case of swapping badges in different markets.

    I’m a big believer in the “halo effect” of cars. I remember as a young person being really impressed with the Acura band when I saw they could beat the snot out of Ferrari at their own game.

  • avatar
    CelticPete

    I don’t see any dilemma at all. In all markets where Acura exists it will be an Acura. Everywhere else it will be a Honda. Its not a headache at all – tons of car makers do this all over the world.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    Call it anything you please. I had a ride in a twin turbo NSX. It was incredibly quick and very agile. No other car I have ridden in is as fast,

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I just wish it had the elegance of the original NSX, this one even has the “beak!” Somehow, everything that made Acura credible, they’ve managed to squander, deserved or not.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I agree with those posters who say “Sell it as an Acura right in the Honda showroom in countries where you don’t have Acura.” It would be a great “introduction” to the brand for those places on the globe.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I tend to agree, after all aren’t the people of the BRICS nations trying to living the American lifestyle to an extent? Here you go guys a restyled faux luxury Honda like the American’s drive!

  • avatar
    08Suzuki

    How hard is it to sell an Acura as a Honda elsewhere? GM does that all the time, in this country!


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