By on February 26, 2014

2015-Acura-TLX-Concept-First-Look-Video-Main-Art

A 10 percent drop in sales experienced by Acura in 2013 has led parent company Honda to form a new business planning and development group with the long-term goal of overhauling the brand’s identity.

Bloomberg reports Honda R&D Americas president Erik Berkman will be appointed as division manager of the new Acura Business Planning Office, whose top priority near-term will be to solve the issues leading to a combined 10 percent drop in sales of Acura’s sedan lineup. The drop not only overshadowed the luxury brand’s successes with the RDX and MDX SUVs, but prevented Honda from hitting their record sales goal in 2013.

Though Honda remains mum on how exactly the new division will operate, the automaker is readying the TLX — which will replace both the TL and TSX in June — to aid in boosting sales for 2014, as well as improving upon the entry-level ILX (reportedly, a more powerful engine is in the works), and unleashing the second-generation NSX from its home in Ohio come 2015.

Long-term, the brand may be overhauled to help establish its identity in the luxury market, as AutoPacific industry analyst Ed Kim explains:

Acura for many, many years has been a brand without an identity. They are good, solid, dependable, somewhat premium cars that don’t communicate any clear message about what they are. The best luxury brands stand for something.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

109 Comments on “Honda Establishes New Acura Planning Arm For Brand Overhaul...”


  • avatar
    krayzie

    Funny how they ditched all the car monikers for alphabet soup identifiers back in the mid 90′s for the exact same reason of “Acura for many, many years has been a brand without an identity”. I read that off my pop’s sales training guide for the 1997 Acura EL.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      Sadly they did it because the Integra sold too well but was determined not to be snooty enough for the Acura badge. A crushing blow to my parents who traded in their 88 RS for one of the last RSX-Ss in 2006.

      As the ads tried to evoke, it’s not about reliability or brand loyalty. It’s about starting a company, selling it and starting another company.

  • avatar
    jeanbaptiste

    Ok, first stop with the front end styling you are using. The stop with the giant unicorn stalk that controls the radio. Then bring back cars with names. Start with the Legend (reborn). Pick a safe demographic and stick with it. Just try to get baby boomer sales. Sure it’s short sighted but make something that’s simple but high quality. Don’t try to force every bit of technology onto people.

  • avatar
    Aquineas

    1. Stop making ugly cars
    2. Create more mechanical differentiation between models
    3. Perhaps it’s time to revert to model names
    4. Get rid of the RLX, or move it to your new RWD luxury platform. Don’t have one? Get one.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      What’s wrong with the RLX?

      It’s one of the best cars Alex Dykes has ever reviewed.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        The problem with the RLX is that Acura spend a lot developing it only to have to sell it $6-10K off MSRP in the US. It has only been on sale a few months. It obviously doesn`t have any halo effect (NSX will). They need to focus on the volume end of the line which will bring in profits and economies of scale.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          There once was a brand that was Acura, that had clean, efficient designs, and a tightly focused mission & perception; honest, well crafted, reliable near luxury vehicles that looked great, drove well, were stress free, and represented a viable alternative to even German, rwd sedans that were far more expensive.

          Best of all, Acura of then, was LEGENDary for VIGORously sticking to an under the radar approach of INTEGRity by focusing on quality, subtle luxury & performance that was actually original, and they created a niche of being more reliable, less ostentatious, but precise vehicles. Lexus was soft and squishy, and Acura was firm, solid yet still comfortable.

          The late 90s Legend was a textbook example of understated, tasteful quality & luxury.

          • 0 avatar
            imag

            Great commment.

            Part of the problem, though, is that the Accord now does basically everything you point out that Acura did. And Honda now has the panache that Acura was invented to create.

            I honestly wonder if the RLX wouldn’t sell better as top-end Honda. It’s like an Avalon, but better.

          • 0 avatar
            George B

            DeadWeight, the problem is this isn’t the 90s so the potential customers are different. Back then buying an Acura Legend provided positive social signalling. Said you were relatively young and successful, but you were sensible too. Someone buying a luxury car with money left over for a mortgage payment too.

            Here in 2014 we’re awash in cheap credit and non-luxury brands do almost everything Acura does. Even Asian Americans lease German luxury cars to signal success. Same deal with houses. In a zero interest society, you need a two story starter castle to signal wealth. Owning a nice 2000 sq. ft. tract home with an Acura in the garage doesn’t impress anyone.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            There was a time that the Legend could compete reasonably well against the 3-series. But BMW has pulled ahead in the branding race, while Acura’s brand has been managed quite poorly.

            If I was running Acura, I would bail out of the passenger car business, but for the TL(X), and focus on SUV/crossovers. Much better prospects over the long haul.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The RL was understated and tasteful luxury all the way up through 04. (Though boring, I admit.)

      • 0 avatar
        mu_redskin

        Everyone knew what an Acura Legend was. RLX? not so much.

      • 0 avatar
        Aquineas

        Honestly I’ve been struggling with the answer to this because it’s so subjective. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a two-time Genesis owner and if Hyundai comes out with an AWD 5.0 V8, I’ll be a three-time owner faster than I want to admit. If I’m going to be subjective, it’s only fair that I put my cards on the table. In any case, the RLX is definitely aimed directly at me as a buyer (especially considering I’m a former 2004 TL owner). Here’s what I personally don’t like about it:

        1. It’s not a particularly attractive car to me. I hate the nose. Even though it’s not the hideous TL nose from a couple of years back, it still reminds me of that. I’m also not a fan of their brand of LED light gimmick. Every single luxury manufacturer is doing gimmicky LED lights these days, but theirs aren’t attractive in my eyes.
        2. It doesn’t seem distinctive enough from the TL.
        3. It’s underpowered.
        4. I think “FWD Accord”, even though technically that’s not entirely accurate.
        5. Kind of related to points #2 and #4, but no matter what I *try* to think of when I see it, I see “mild step up from the TL, which is just a mild step up from an Accord with a nicer interior.” It’s the Accord link, rather than the TL link, which I think bothers me more. Now this shouldn’t be a bad thing; after all BMW, Mercedes, Audi all do the same things with their 5 Series/7 Series, C-Class/E class/S-Class, and A4/A6(A8?), so again this is subjective, but when I look at the others, I feel like there is a definite step up in perceived quality as you move up the chain with the other makes. Note I distinctively left Lexus off the list because there’s nothing about the IS, ES, and LS which remind me of each other.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Need moar stick.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    To piggyback on Aquinas:
    5. Yes, we need Integra back. And Legend. Those names represented something.
    6. The last gen TL was spectacular. What the hell happened?
    7. Your Integra needs a convertible. 4 cyl DOHC will be fine.
    8. Your price range is $35-60k. You’re not BMW, nor should you aspire to be.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      Point 5, over and over again. Your brand will mean something when the products mean something. You once got rid of the names Legend and Integra because they ‘meant more than the brand’. Let me ask a simple question: So what? Any other manufacturer would call that a huge victory and build on it. Instead you destroyed your brand equity, 99% tied up in the above names, and have been reaping the ‘rewards’ ever since. At this point I don’t care what you call your new products, but they need to deliver something unique or you might as well shut the doors. Other commenters are right: you have made yourselves into Mercury. I don’t envy your current challenge. Perhaps the best thing you might gain from this debacle is a culture change within Honda to more readily admit errors and change direction. (The resurrection of the Accord is a good sign.)

    • 0 avatar
      carve

      Or at least have the names MEAN something, like BMW, Audi, Mercedes. Why ape Lincoln where you just have a random combination of letters than mean nothing? It tells you nothing about the car and therefore is hard to remember.

      Get a little performance back, too. Get at least one of your own RWD platforms.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The best luxury brands stand for something.

    Which means there are no more “best” luxury brands, unless whoring yourself out for lower and lower coin is the definition of “stand for something.”

    • 0 avatar
      cdnsfan27

      All the luxury brands are focused on volume at this time, even Audi that never used to care. As a result they are all whoring out their cars. The manufacturers are opening up more dealerships creating not just competition with other brands but with themselves. We are not specifically told to cut price but we are told to get more aggressive and sell more cars or else….interestingly the price the manufacturers charge us hasn’t gone down so we are taking it in the shorts…it sucks to sell a $50,000 luxury car for a mini.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    ILX = Integtra
    TLX = Vigor
    RLX = Legend

    Let the MDX and RDX keep their names and make the changes above. Problem is, they’re not going to do that because F you, that’s why. So, they’re going to go in a room, come up with some marketing strategies (read: commercials) and hope that you start buying them again the way people used to.

    RWD isn’t the answer for Acura, either. They could spend $1B on a RWD platform and hardly anyone here would even consider it. You know why? Because there would be something better already on the market because Acura isn’t going to build a class leading flagship out the gate or the “I can’t wait to buy it used” crowd would come out in full force .

    Acura will be fine as long as it sustains or increases its current volume. They make plenty of $ on their SUVs and if you think for one minute that they’re going to launch some sedan renaissance, I have a bridge to sell you in the desert.

    • 0 avatar
      Aquineas

      I respectfully disagree on quite a few of the points you make. First of all, the Legend would be equivalent to the TLX, not the Vigor. The Vigor was an engineering curiosity that never sold well. The Legend was light, fast, extremely reliable, and in coupe form, absolutely gorgeous. It also did those things without breaking the bank.

      Secondly, Acura doesn’t need to build a class-leading flagship, they just need to build one that’s good-looking, competent, and distinctly different enough, engineering-wise, that people don’t presume them to be gussied-up Accords (which is how people see it now). And make that V6 a twin-turbo (or add a V8, which we know would never happen).

      As for your final point “Acura will be fine as long as it sustains or increases current volume.” If Honda was “fine” with the current volume, then there really wouldn’t be a need to form a “business planning and development group” with the aim of increasing sales.

      Despite the common perception, it’s okay to have dissenting opinions, so we can agree to disagree. If there were a perfect answer, Acura would already be doing it (at least until the MBAs came along and ruined things).

    • 0 avatar
      EX35

      I disagree. RWD is the answer. Lexus, MB, BMW, Infiniti, Cadillac. What do these brands have in common? Most of their sedans are RWD based. Luxury customers spending 40K+ want something different than a Honda with leather. They may not know what RWD means, but they know how it feels. Customers want RWD, even if they don’t know it.

      • 0 avatar
        IHateCars

        ^Totally agreed. I loved pretty much everything about my TL Type S EXCEPT FWD and the resulting atrocious torque steer…the LSD did little to cure that issue.

        Make a RWD TL(X) or whatever, to compete with the Infiniti G/Q/whatever and Lexus RWD sedans….don’t even worry about BMW, MB….that isn’t ugly and they will sell.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        All of those brands mostly sell AWD, except for entry-level models and the occasional specialty model. I doubt that any luxury sedan customer really cares about the difference between 4Matic and SH-AWD anyway. If they did, they probably prefer the later’s real-world handling.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Globally, Audi is #2, behind BMW.

        The thing that is now keeping Daimler’s Dieter Zetsche from an early retirement is the new FWD CLA, which is helping to regain sales in markets where Mercedes had fallen into third place.

        RWD is not the answer, particularly for Honda. The cost of admission is too nigh for a company that builds everything on what amount to a couple of different (or arguably variations of one) platforms.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        This is right, RWD is important. In 89 there was enough other FWD transverse luxury entries from other brands that Acura could blend in. That isn’t going to cut it today.

  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    Read this and understand:

    Luxury means NOTHING. It used to mean extra features. Now it’s something old people shop for in terms of soft seats to cushion replaced hips and s supple ride that won’t aggitate the Ensure in their stomachs that had for lunch.

    That’s over. I can go out and literally get more features in a Hyundai or Ford than a BMW or an Audi. I can get that Hyundai or Ford for less than just the cost of the features on the BMW. Pretty much anything these days has a sweet ride, unless you opt for the factory donk package.

    Acura needs to be premium, not luxury. They need some rough edges. Don’t sell Acura reliability based on common middle class fears of a broken windshield wiper. People who buy German metal don’t outwardly want to look like they care about that (but they do). Sell the Acura reliability like it’s a cockroach. Like it’s Rocky, like it’s friggin Galvatron built from the bones of Megatron’s body in the Transformers movie (the good one from the 80′s, not anything done by Michale Bay). Sell that kind of reliability.

    Then, make the cars AWD. all of them. Sell them as unstoppable. No one wants to be stuck in the snow. That’s for poor people driving festivas. Premium means that mommy doesn’t have to bail on yoga class due to flurries.

    then make the cars powerful. Every_friggin_German_brand (plus Lexus) forces the customer to pay dearly for power. That may have been jsut dandy even 20 years ago, but those days are gone. Power is cheap. My Audi would get smoked by my secretary’s 6 banger mustang. This is completely unacceptable. Every car Acura sells should at least be available with a gonzon motor at a reasonable cost. You want to get a younger audience in the showrooms? give them a reason to Look at Acura when the car seat doesn’t fit in teh GTI or the WRX anymore. I promise you these people are looking at 328 ix’s and A4′s and CLA’s becuase they have nowhere else to go for a good car that doesn’t imply you live in mom’s basement and keep all your hat bills flat.

    Make the cars beautiful. This is such a no-brainer, and Acura’s greatest single sin. If I can afford an Acura, I can afford something that doesn’t look like an Acura, and Acuras are ugly.

    finally, and for F’s sake, take some quirky chances with options. There used to be a time when you could walk into an Audi dealer and order an A6 Allroad wagon with a stick, twin turbo V6, and kermit green leather seats. you want me to eat my words? Then do real Luxury, with a big “L” and let people custom spec the crap out of their cars. Bespoke cars are real luxury. made just for you and no one else. OFFER A DISCOUNT FOR SPECIAL ORDERS. Special orders don’t sit on the lots, and are great profit makers. Even if people come to look but still buy off the lot, then at least they camee in.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      Well said.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      This. Especially on the “premium” part. Once they have appealing product (fingers crossed), they need to find the pricing sweet spot they used to occupy just below traditional luxury.

      Don’t be afraid to have “adult” vehicles in the same showroom as something with a legit Type-R badge (or modern equivalent) on it. When done right is doesn’t cheapen the brand at all, and it means someone under 30 might actually walk through your doors.

      As an Acura owner for 19 of the past 21 years, nothing in their showroom has interested me for years, and it makes me sad. The thought of driving anything so dull, expensive and absolutely butt ugly is too much to bear no matter how much I believe in the underlying Honda engineering and reliability.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      All good except he said “quirky”. Saab kept the same old 2.3T for 20 years with a utiliatarian car and some luxury features as standard. I definitely see Acura moving to the Saab camp and waning quickly.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Consumer Reports’ 2014 brand report cards show who makes the best car
        Factoring test score and reliability, we grade the car brands
        http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/02/2014-car-brand-report-cards/index.htm

        More bad news for Buick.

      • 0 avatar
        FractureCritical

        “quirky” in that I can option it anyway someone wants and have one or tow ‘out there’ models. Saab died becuase quirky is a nice attribute, but it’s not something to bank on for the whole line

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Saab died for many reasons, largely GM incompetence and poor reliability.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Off topic, but Saab died because GM didn’t fund new models, their youngest model was 8 years old, and they lost credibility by rebadging Trailblazers and Imprezas. Plus GM was convinced that they could hold Europe with Cadillac. That brilliant strategy hasn’t worked-out for them.

            Reliability was never a big problem for Saab. It’s not unusual to see them with 4 or 500k’s on their (still working) odometers.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      >Acura needs to be premium, not luxury.

      Bain & Company completed a research project earlier this year on the fragmentation of the luxury market, and there is a large contingent of the luxury disillusioned in the mature markets. Some of it is due to the financial shock of the last recession, but a lot of it is also due to the realization that luxury is just an emotional promise of marketing that seldom translates into something of intrinsic value.

      I fall somewhat between the Disillusioned and the Investor category, where I could care less about the brand, logo, or exclusivity but do care more about the products’ quality/durability and how well it fits my wants.

      In this respect, Hyundai and Kia seem well positioned to benefit from this, and Acura might want to consider the same.

      Here’s the summary:
      http://www.slideshare.net/Ikusmer/lens-on-the-worldwide-luxury-consumer

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Okay, I just had an image of a TLX swooping into a Cars and Coffee meet, firing an electron beam at a CLA and vaporizing it, then asking, “Will anyone else attempt to fill his shoes?”

    • 0 avatar
      WildcatMatt

      I’m sorry, but you lost me when you associated Galvatron with the word ‘reliabile’.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    I think Acura knows what it needs to do. I also think what we’re seeing from Acura is them trying to do something less while hoping to become a success in the market. For whatever reason, Acura has not been willing to invest the necessary resources to pull their sedans out of the mire. After the planning arm delivers their recommendations they still might not be willing to fully invest. Time will tell.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Even Buick outsold Acura last year!

      Acura brought a knife to a gun fight with the ILX vs Verano. The comparison lean toward the Verano and with the Verano beating ILX in sales 2-to-1 last year just renforces those reviews.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        CR just gave Acura 2nd place in its brand survey. Just behind Lexus and above Audi.

        Buick kinda not so much. But there were no expectations w/Buick and do blue-haired ladies read CR anyway?

      • 0 avatar
        Aquineas

        Tangent I know, but were the Buick sales inclusive or exclusive of China? Buick sells 4 times as many cars in China than in the US, which is kind of astonishing when you think about it.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Acura has been pulling a Lincoln Motor Carriage Company Esq. since about 2007.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    It’s Honda’s Mercury, so really how much can be done.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    That radical front fascia, with its smiley-face/snow plow grill, is indeed ghastly.

    Their like damned tuner cars with a luxury twist. Guess what… most individuals making the kind of money that shop for cars in Acuras price ranges don’t find this “styling” to be a good thing.

    It’s much too bold for this segment. And it’s sales are reflecting that.

    And while yes, this being a Honda, will likely be on the road for another 15-20 years, will someone really want to continue to be seen in it?

    The looks on the Acura can certainly be toned down. Take it down a notch. Especially on that front end. Sheesh.

    A more buttoned-down appearance is what we need here.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      I’m going to add this.

      Look at the front fascia of new Lexus. They look modern enough without looking completely insane, such as the Acuras do.

      Thus, the upper crust continue to buy Lexus.

      When I think of beautiful Acuras, I think of the 3.5RL. The 3.2TL. I know times must change, cars must be updated… I get it.

      They just ran too far from their conservative base.

      Yuppies will still buy Acuras- they love tech and all the exciting features.

      But unfortunately, the old money has already ran off to Mercedes and Lexus.

      You can even see these more mature individuals clinging to their older Acuras. Unfortunately, most of them won’t be going to the Acura dealership anytime soon.

      The old money wouldn’t be caught dead driving the “hey look at me” tuner car.

      Even an all black Acura- the most conservative of colors- doesn’t tone down that ridiculousness.

      • 0 avatar
        WaftableTorque

        I think what made the 3.5RL attractive was their dash-to-axle ratio. Kia is calling it the “prestige factor”, but it’s nothing more than the proportions of a long hood and short deck. Acura was still using a longitudinal engine layout for their FWD car at the time, which went away with the 2005 redesign.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I will say the 05+ RL, IMO was a GOOD car. Just not stand-out enough to get the sales. They spent all that time with the special platform design, all those expensive materials – carbon drive shaft and whatnot. Then cover it up with an Accord+ style which doesn’t impress, and managed to look smaller and less elegant than the outgoing model.

          • 0 avatar
            PeugeotHound

            +1 The 05+ RL (I drive an ’08) was a schizoid blend of amazing technology underneath the most conservative styling possible. Now, the car does look hunkered down and purposeful, especially when observed head on or in the rear view mirror, but it definitely carried the aura of an Accord-plus. In addition to the carbon-fiber drive shaft and torque-vectoring AWD, there’s an immense amount of aluminum underneath and little rubber flaps on the suspension pieces for aerodynamic purposes. Then there are the exhaust flaps that open at 4,000 rpm. Final year year total sales in the United States was probably less than 1,000. Go figure…

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    OMG wha’happen’ed, mon! We been smoking crack for the last 10 years, badge engineering and stuffs, and the sales dropped! OMG let’s see if we can replace a FIVE speed transmission on that low-torque engine! Maybe KIA has one we can use! OMG we need a new level of business marketing morons to fix that problem! OMG the World is Ending!

    Idiots.

    • 0 avatar
      Aquineas

      Hey, even getting that 5-speed transmission right in the first place proved to be especially troublesome for them. Prior to the 2004 TL, Acura 5 speed transmissions had this nasty habit of slipping into second gear at 80mph. They did finally get it right, but it took a wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  • avatar
    jaje

    Hyundai did in it’s first try what Honda hasn’t figured out in the entirety of Acura’s existence. As great as the Legend, Integra, NSX and TL and TSX were they were not real luxury or performance cars (NSX being the sole exception) no matter how brilliant they were made back then (I owned a GSR and a TSX). Every other luxury OEM sticks to a formula that Honda just can’t grasp. Acura with the exception of the Legend and NSX has done only this – make a near luxury, near performance enhanced FWD based version of a FWD car.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    At 80,000 kilometers our Acura RL has been reasonably satisfactory notwithstanding the air conditioner compressor failed twice. Acura Canada customer support and dealer service are wholly unacceptable. It has been serviced by an independent garage since Year Two. If I were to stay with Honda I would buy an Accord. It’s almost as nice a car for significantly less money.

    I really want a rear wheel drive car next time. Relying on our very good experience with our FX35 it will be an Infiniti M-series.

  • avatar
    brux2dc

    Stick across the all the lines (at least make it orderable!). 2nd the idea that all cars should have AWD available. Most importantly, get rid of the friggn ugly beak and the hard creases in the center-line of the car. Jeez I was shopping for cars last year and I like the idea of a manual acura, but the design is so ugly, I had to pass them up. Lastly, fire the current design team and the managers who OK’d it!

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    Acura is doing the same damn thing they were when they were successful, with one exception: they traded in the conservative-yet-gangster look for a style that manages to be both bland and ugly at the same time. Bring back the Yakuza cars, double down on AWD (become the Japanese Audi) and power up your engines. Maybe sport up the suspension a bit. Make that vtec scream like it used to

  • avatar
    wmba

    It seems to me that car companies are loath to admit ANY mistake. Any error at all. Just like most politicians who, caught out in some mistake, come up with the most circuitous explanations that prove it really wasn’t their fault and they cannot see a reason to actually, you know, resign and show some vestige of honor.

    So, here Acura sets up a committee to see why their underachieving cars aren’t selling. That’s what all large bureaucracies do if the powers-that-be want their legacy to reflect their “deep concern”. Yes, they immediately organize a committee of second tier executives to “study” the possible “problem” instead of getting out front to lead themselves.

    The committee can be blamed for its recommendations when results turn even worse, but those dynamic top execs can always say: “Yup we could see a problem, that’s why we formed a committee of our top people. Pity they were on the wrong track, and we hope they’re doing well on the job market.”

    What will always be left unsaid will be the unacknowledged limits to the committee’s inquiries. That is the part of the organization all employees implicitly recognize as the ongoing basis or DNA of the company. Deep delving into areas needing help will be overlooked and not even discussed – pet projects of some executive that have become part of the culture of the organization. And nobody wants to rock things TOO far anyway as they are astute enough to realize the Catch 22 situation they’ve been placed in.

    So, this Acura committee will never get down to brass tacks, because some Japanese executive might “lose face” if some lunatic idea he implemented in the past is questioned. But it’s the same at other companies of any nation- been there seen that.

    So, the Acura beak will remain, the car’s names will never change, they will remain front drive, an extensive options list doesn’t fit with the way Honda manufactures with minimal variations, etc., etc. They will block themselves in with “givens” and prevent themselves from ever getting out of the rut they’re in. Guaranteed.

    Ford limits Lincoln the same way.

    What is completely clear to outsiders and possible customers will never be acknowledged. If anything does happen at Acura, they will go down some dingbat path to oblivion, guilty of having missed the point completely to protect the twittish decisions of the past and then commit even more egregious errors as the way forward to hope and glory. Ultimate doom.

    That’s how commercial organizations die. Goverment on the other hand has a constant cash flow and can afford to be completely out-to-lunch all the time and never even try to reinvent itself.

    It’s a conundrum society faces when powerful people refuse to acknowledge their limitations. It is a rare day when a true clean sweep happens, when someone with balls steps up to the plate and gets on with the job properly. At today’s executive pay levels, why bother with actual work? Mediocrity suffices.

    Oh, and committees.

    • 0 avatar
      Aquineas

      This is a pretty good mini-essay. I think you can extrapolate the risk-averse culture you describe to corporate America in general; companies don’t want to take risks (unless they “know ahead of time that they will succeed”). They severely penalize mistakes, and the company’s internal culture is often cutthroat enough that other managers are sitting around waiting for you to flub up so that they, lacking any innovation skills whatsoever, can get ahead. And yet everyone however loves (or used to love, until Steve Jobs died) their Apple stock; forgetting of course how many failures Apple has had along the way before they went on their consecutive home-run streak.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    There is a dearth of affordable, SEXY cars. 3, ATS, A4, C class, Q50… all painfully boring and conventional. Americans love style (even when it’s not that great)… you look at the breakout models of the last 20-30 years, they tended to be pretty distinctive (again sometimes not for better). PT Cruiser, Beetle, Chrysler LX cars, Benz CLS etc etc.

    As weird as the ZDX was, I think Acura was onto something with the concept… they just failed in the execution. I know I may just be weird, but I think Acura could do well with an all-hatchback lineup. Just don’t call them hatchbacks. Ape the A5/A7… make the Civic and Accord look and drive like sports cars. I don’t think they need a fancy RWD platform. The cars are solid. They just need to fix their image. It also wouldn’t hurt to make SH-AWD standard across the board to make a hard barrier between Honda and Acura as well.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      So sexy to you = boring and conventional? I don’t understand what you’re trying to say.

      “but I think Acura could do well with an all-hatchback lineup.”

      LULZ. I wish you could rewrite this post. … … … …

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        It was a pretty jumbled post. My point is, if Acura wants to validate its existence beyond generating sales and profits, it needs a unique identity. Another RWD 3/5/7 lineup would add zero value to the market. RWD & dynamics are selling points to a small segment of the market anyway- do you really think the $299 lease marketing major gives a crap about chassis balance or drive wheels?

        Not to mention in America the 3/5/7 segment isn’t really a big volume generator. For the Germans yes, because they have the brand equity to move that metal. But for the Japanese? Not so much. Lexus’ biggest sellers have been the ES and RX for nearly 15 years by a very wide margin. So if Acura is going to redo its lineup, it has to configure it to the needs of its most relevant markets. Europe is pretty much DOA and while there is some life left in China I wouldn’t count on it for long term growth. The US is the focus and in the US people want style, content and space (if they can’t have German brand cachet). Drive wheels, “halo cars” and all the other BS the B&B’s fantasy brand managers regularly purport as paramount to success are irrelevant.

        So that is why I think Acura should just be rebadged Kamm-back Civics and Accords on the sedan side, with a full lineup of SUVs to complement them. That’s the smart BUSINESS play. Would I love it if Acura were RWD sedans and coupes on bespoke platforms, with 6 and 8 bangers and 3 pedal shifters available? Sure. Honda cold probably legitimately build a better 3 than BMW easily. But as far as picking cars that will sell at a good volume and be easy to make a profit on, that’s a terrible idea. The Kamm-back thing is just an idea I’m throwing out for Acura to distinguish itself and capitalize on trends… people like the look; the popularity of the Panamera, CLS and A7 along with the link to classic designs with that shape are a shoe in.

        I am rambling a little bit so I will just summarize. Kammbacks = new, relevant, distinctive and attractive identity. RWD, “V12 600 HP halo cars”, stickshift transmissions = irrelevant. Acura’s issue is a pure image + design problem… the underlying cars are fine for their price points and markets.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    So many bad ideas in this thread.

    Acura doesn’t need RWD, except for low-volume sports cars (NSX). SH-AWD takes care of any and all torque steer and handling problems relevant to buyers of near-luxury sedans and crossovers. A top-end trim of each model with SH-AWD is good enough.

    Acura doesn’t need sticks everywhere, just in the most enthusiastic models. Other sticks don’t sell, period. The ILX needs a stick; the TLX V6 needs a stick (although it doesn’t look like it will get one in the initial model year); and maybe the RDX could use a stick. A stick in the RLX or the MDX would be ridiculous.

    Acura doesn’t need “bespoke” ordering. That flies in the face of everything Honda has ever done. Honda improves the content/dollar ratio by limiting build combinations. That way they can offer the loaded product for the same price as the German product with vinyl seats, ugly wheels and no Bluetooth.

    What *does* Acura need?

    - Better names. The TLX should be the “Legend,” and the ILX the “Vigor.” ‘Nuff said.

    - Better styling. Both in the general shapes and in the details. They got the ’09 TL’s shape wrong, and paid dearly for it. That car is actually fantastic to drive, but no one knows it because they are too focused on how ugly it is. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with the shapes of the RLX and ILX, but the details are way too conservative, making the cars look old. Acura production cars should look like the “concepts,” with more expensive-looking trim, better stance, and more radical details. Look at Audi if there is doubt about how to execute good detailing in production form.

    - Better interior materials, especially leather and door panel plastics, and better noise isolation on the lower-end models The ILX feels too much like a Civic and the outgoing TSX too much like an Accord. The Verano is beating the ILX because it’s quieter and cushier.

    - More focus on the brand’s reliability, which has been consistently at or near the top for nearly two decades (with one small exception, that gets talked about ad nauseam, in second-gen TL transmissions). They are better than everyone except Lexus in this respect and they should let people know it.

    • 0 avatar
      Aquineas

      “Bad ideas” because you personally don’t agree that they need a RWD sedan? Or bad ideas because the sales numbers back you up?

      http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2014/01/usa-vehicle-sales-rankings-by-model-december-2013-year-end.html

      Perhaps compare last year’s RL with last year’s Genesis?

      • 0 avatar

        Nice post dal.

        Aquineas, I’d wager that RWD is not a big factor for most Genesis purchases. It’s a premium-looking and feeling car at a good price point.

        • 0 avatar
          EX35

          But it’s a premium “feeling” car because of RWD. I don’t understand why this is so hard to understand. Quite simply, RWD and RWD-biased AWD feel better than some torque-steer FWD Honda. That’s what customers want, even if they have no idea/don’t care what wheels are being driven.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Two things:

            1) 90% of buyers have no idea what torque steer is. The reason they think a Genesis is “premium” is because of styling, features, and interior materials.

            2) And for the other 10%, did you notice that the best Acuras all feature rear-biased AWD?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Of course, the $10,000+ price difference had nothing to do with it.

        The RL has a lot of issues. Where the power hits the ground isn’t high up on that list.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        RWD, itself, doesn’t sell more than a tiny handful of Genesis (Geneses?)

        RWD-look styling, on the other hand, sells a lot of them. (Cheap pricing sells even more — if the RLX cost as little as the Genesis 3.8, it would outsell it.)

        It’s too much to ask that Acura bring back the Legend’s longitudinal FWD layout (modern platform strategy won’t allow it to be cost-effective), but Acura should at least pay close attention to styling cars to look more premium. Aping RWD to the extent permitted by the platform’s hard points would help.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      I’d second everything in this post. Personally, the fact that my TL is FWD was a selling point for me – with snow tires, I found it much easier to control in winter than my old 330ci. The torque steer isn’t really an issue, and I’d like my next car to be AWD anyway, which means that my step-up as I age would naturally be a SH-AWD (or P-AWS) Acura. And the reliability of my car has been staggering: in three and a bit years, it didn’t start once because the battery was old (bought the car used) and I left it in 10-degree weather for a week, and a window stopped rolling down in the driver’s door two weeks after it had been rebuilt from a crash.

      But I do hate the leather in my car (the passenger seat bottom has literally split apart), and could use some more damping for our Afghanistan-esque late-winter roads while commuting.

      Personally I’m waiting to see how the AWD hybrid RLX drives, and how much it ends up getting discounted on the lot. But it’s dowdy as hell, and I know I’m gonna have to explain what it is to my neighbors, which, let’s be honest, annoys me.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The need to craft alibis for the neighbors is indeed part of the problem.

        The RLX looks like a big Accord, and nobody wants to pay $50-60k for an Accord. Car lines need to provide an aspirational ladder to climb, and Acura utterly fails to provide that sort of ladder.

        This wasn’t necessary when Acura arrived in the 80s. But now that the Germans have honed this three tier approach (3/5/7, C/E/S, A4/A6/A8), everyone else has to either adapt or die.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Most German car buyers don’t move up. Most German car buyers can’t afford to move up. Most German car buyers don’t want to move up. The sales prove this. If you like the sportiness and size of a 3 series, why would you ever move up to the behemoth 5/7s?

          Many folks are fine replacing their Accords with new Accords. I don’t see why Acura couldn’t do the same with their sedans. There is no point in aping the Germans’ SML sausage model… nobody is going to spend $100K on an Acura sedan and Honda would lose money building it. Better to focus on the segments of growth and volume.

          • 0 avatar
            Aquineas

            Well, a 3 series is fine when you’re single, less so when you’re married with kid(s). At that point it’s either a bigger sedan or an SUV.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It isn’t about moving up. It’s about defining ones place within the proper pecking order.

            In order for a brand to have luxury appeal, it has to have some element of unobtainium and exclusivity attached to it. Acura doesn’t have this; the Germans all do.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            What is the element of unobtanium in a CLA250 or 320i? RWD doesn’t matter. Cylinder count doesn’t matter. The large luxury sedan segment is growing more and more irrelevant by the decade. And German design has gone from being cool and unique to either too safe or too hideous. Just like Acura. The only thing the Germans have over the Japanese is the one thing the Japanese cannot emulate/beat: brand cachet. Acura can’t change its place in the pecking order because its brand will never be as prestigious as MB/BMW or even Audi. So its better for them to just focus on making cars they can sell and turn a profit on.

            The German luxury brand model is irrelevant to all non-German companies. Even the Germans are having to branch out to increase volume. So lets leave that alone. I’d rather Acura make cars people want and buy than make a bunch of store brand 3/5/7 flops and bury itself.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You don’t seem to grasp the luxury branding concept.

            One thing that gives the CLA value is that there are other cars, such as S-classes and CLS that cast a glow upon the lower-tier cars such as the CLA and the C. They are the junior members of a worthy club.

            At the same time, the positioning of the CLA and the C at the bottom of a luxury ladder (but not below that onto the family-mainstream car circuit) as well as the other cars in between such as the E tell the S-class owner that he is at the top of a well-positioned heap.

            And the E-class owner (or that should probably be lessee) feels assured that he, too, has achieved some sort of station that allows him to belong to the same family as the S-klasse types, but yet is also hovering above the C-drivers.

            The luxury car is the equivalent of the automotive major leagues. Some people would prefer to be affiliated with the lowliest MLB team in the league than play on the best team in the minors.

            (I am assuming that you don’t relate to this at all, and therefore can’t understand why there is a segment of the car buying market who does not think like you or look for the same things when choosing a brand.)

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    I vote for the axing of the brand. It stands for nothing, and contributes nothing. If it is for people too snobby to buy a Honda, then you probably will be losing them anyway because they’ll go shop for something German to begin with.

    Cut the massive wasted money spent on advertising and operating expenses for this brand and throw that money at developing newer Honda models which people would be willing to pay more money for. Be that “Honda+” a styling thing, or a level of technical sophistication which justifies the premium because of some bleeding edge advantage.

    The point is that you’re trying to find people willing to pay more money than for an Accord. You need to give them a reason to do it. A different brand name isn’t going to get you nearly as far as a couple of USPs which other companies don’t offer.

    Hire some high-end stylists and get them to cook up something attention getting (in a universally good way, unlike the beak). Get the R&D team to find a production-worthy version of something too expensive to offer at Accord volume, but which other companies won’t attempt due to the technical difficulty.

    It lets buyers make a statement with something substantive that their country club friends can’t one up through the “branding” of whatever they’re driving.

    Tesla may have already done this, but at Tesla’s price point the volume is much thinner. Do something similar at a Mercedes-Benz E350 price point and launch it in the most highly visible way possible. It won’t be about “Honda,” it will be about that model, but I’d bet it will be more profitable than another lame me-too “premium” strategy.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      They sell cars though. It’s a profit generator even in its current state.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Exactly. It’s not doom and gloom. They are outselling Audi, Infinity and Lincoln in the US, mostly on the strength of two SUVs.

        • 0 avatar
          juicy sushi

          But could those two SUVs sell just as well as Hondas?

          If so, then they’re wasting money on all the branding and costs associated with maintaining the Acura name.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            No. Nobody would buy a $50K Honda Pilot, which is essentially what the MDX is. They are still making money hand over fist. Acura is still profitable and sustainable; they just need to fine tune their strategy.

            Lexus’ best selling models are rebadged Camrys and Highlanders… Honda just needs to figure out how to distinguish these cars better. The SH-AWD hybrid system in the RLX is a start, though it needs the style to match the tech

    • 0 avatar
      krayzie

      I was thinking about the exact same thing today when I was driving home from work. The Acura brand serves no purpose whatsoever anymore and should just go away. But I wonder if they do get rid of Acura, how would they consolidate their dealership networks. Maybe just turn them into like Primo / Clio / Verno in Japan?

    • 0 avatar
      Atum

      I’m half and half. Some instances, such as the QX60/Pathfinder, bother me. Seriously, you could buy a loaded Pathfinder Platinum (they don’t come standard with a sunroof, which is shocking) for at least five grand less than a QX60!

      But groups such as Acura and Lexus offer amenities that Honda and Toyota, respectively don’t. HIGH QUALITY INTERIORS, nice dealership experiences, upgraded engines, and the feeling of driving a luxury brand. The last statement contradicts what I said about the crossovers above, but hey, lower maintenance costs when I’m replacing my CVTs. Hahahahaha.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    My biggest issue with Acura is their interiors are not much different than their brothers at Honda. I’d also like to see a more powerful Sportwagon with manual but that’s just a dream.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Acuras aren’t really as bad as people make them out to be. They are sleek, stylish (well, subjective, but come on,there are people out who buys QX80′s) and technically advanced. They just have an image problem, and part of that image problem is that people are sheep with a 15 minute attention span. Audi and BMW understands this and markets the ‘be like everyone else’-thing perfectly, while constantly releasing new completely redundant models to remind people they still exist and are still ‘hot’, and at the same time raising the bar for ‘fashionable’ looks with increasingly wild designs (well, Audis still look pretty dull apart from their lights, but kids these days love funny lights)
    Not to mention the horsepower race. The latest being about as crazy as the one in the 50′s. Honda has been able to survive a long time on assuring people that ‘this is all the power you need’ from their smaller engines which still used to have ‘enough’ power and a decent torque range for their size. People don’t care anymore. They want the highest number. Acura could probably spend the last dollars they have making an RWD sedan with a 500 hp v6 and SHawd and Paws, but without german badges the sales would still not go up…
    A properly insane fwd ILX/Integra coupe with insane power and no comfort could be a good start to build a new image, and a ZDX that actually works as good as a CrossTour, but looks better would have helped. And actually telling people how different all Acura models are from their Honda siblings, instead of trying to make them look the same would have helped…

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      I don’t know about an “insane” ILX, but totally agree that a halo small car would be a great start and totally in line with Honda/Acura heritage. With a little better looks, a performance ILX-S or -R that offers 9/10ths the performance of a CLA45 or S3 for $10k less would definitely get me in the door.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        Well, i ment Honda-insane offcourse, meaning the straight numbers on paper will probably not match the competition, although the drivers experience and track times should go beyond everything else, much like the old Integra Type-R. And possibly even go as far as make it downright uncomfortable as a daily driver.
        Do not make it at a bargain price though.
        Luxury car buyers don’t like to brag to their friends about how cheap they got their car, it defies the whole purpose of luxury motoring. (the lower spec models that look very similar can be allowed to be a bargain offcourse, like with all the german cars)

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Get rid of the beak to start with. I’d wager the largest chunk of lost sales is due to the asthetics of the current models. The TLX above does a lot of address that.

    RWD and expensive flagships are too much for conservative Honda to wager. This Acura business planning group sounds like some kind of six million dollar man parody, “We can rebuild it, but we don’t want to spend a lot of money.”

  • avatar
    Avatar77

    Planning meeting, day one:

    Mr. Berkman: What we need are more headlights. All in agreement?

    Yes-men: Great idea boss!!

    (meeting adjourned)

  • avatar
    carve

    How ’bout this: make cars for the way people actually drive…people who spend a lot of time in their cars. As much as I love the at-the-limit handling of my 335i, I seldom get to use it. Think of all the 3-series who live their whole lives in LA traffic. What’s important to how people actually drive?

    1) Style and image. That’s what really sells BMW and Audi. Part of their image is based on their performance, so Acura needs at least a couple of performance models for halo effect, as they had with the Integra and NSX. Get those back, and then work on that styling. Even if it’s not RWD, make it LOOK RWD like the new Mazda 6. Short front overhang. Audi is another great example of nailing image.

    2) Traffic ready. This means engines, transmission, suspension, interiors and visibility that disappear and caudle you most of the time, but when necessary really lend themselves to cut ‘n thrust traffic situations. For example, perhaps when you turn on your turn signal, it begins looking for an opening in that direction and adjusts the gear, throttle response, and suspension to make it easier to get in. Perhaps it learns your typical routes, guesses where you’re going, and let’s you know the quickest way based on conditions without you even asking. They also have to be easy to park. They could break ground here.

    3) Dependipility and operating costs. Acura already has this nailed, and it’s their biggest advantage over BMW/Audi/Everyone.

    4) User friendliness. Find ways to make the user interface disappear…or at lesat super intuitive. Setting up my girlfriends new ’07 RDX (which handles AMAZING for an SUV…close to my bimmer) was a PITA. Perhaps, for example, once you pair your phone it can figure out things like climate settings based on the weather and an array of sensors, like the NEST thermostat, and syncing it all up with seat heaters/coolers for the best efficiency.

    5) Practicality. Speaks for itself. Make sure you don’t have to worry about the weather. Make ‘em able to haul your bike or surfboard around…trips to the home improvement center…easy to get in and out of…good efficiency. Acura is pretty good hear, but not a standout. Consider the shape of cargo areas, accessibility, reconfigurability. Think PT cruiser or Honda element

    Just say Acura makes cars for the way people actually drive.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I’d like to see the old styling back, or at least a reasonable facsimile of the old styling if Acura stays around. The last decent Acura, in my eyes, would be 2005ish TL. It looked a bit more upscale than the Accord, but didn’t try to overpower a person by screaming “look at me, I’m luxury.” As it is, the current Accord sedan looks better than most of what Acura sells.

    However, if you ask me, Honda needs to dump Acura and put more money into itself. Sell the euro-Accord and stop trying to chase a market that’s not interested anymore. Toyota seems to have done well with Lexus, and Nissan with Infiniti, but Acura is so far off my radar I don’t even notice them on the road anymore.

    I’ve never been in the Acura, Lexus, Infiniti psuedo-luxury/premium market, and thus have never done much research into them, but I have owned two Accords and would again.

    Final thought, I used to think Acura and Audi made the best looking cars on the road. Now, it seems as though Audi is corning the market on tastefully restrained transportation modules. I know that styling is extremely subjective, so take it with a big grain of salt.

  • avatar
    pb35

    I shopped a TL back in 2004 (bought a G35x). I shopped the MDX in 2007 for the wife (bought an XC90). When I drove the MDX, the first thing the salesman wanted to do was pull my credit. Not exactly a “luxury” experience. I’m not here to suggest how to fix the brand, but they can start by putting real wood in the interior instead of fake plastic. Either do wood or don’t, it’s simple. My Infiniti had birds-eye maple trim and my Volvo has metal trim on the dash (I have the Sport XC).

    I don’t care what they name the cars. If they are going to replace the current nomenclature with “Vigor” then they should stick to letters.

    Acura always seemed like a middle-manager car that’s trying too hard, IMO. The car folks buy when they want to show everyone they’ve “made it.”

  • avatar
    waltercat

    Folks, I’ve spent 15+ years driving an Acura. Just one – an early-’99 TL with base equipment. It’s coming up on a quarter-million miles with basically just maintenance. Everything still works, it doesn’t rattle, the paint and trim are nice, and it’s 100% dependable. We’ve been together so long I can’t bear to part with it yet.

    I bought it not to impress anyone; I bought it because it was comfortable, pleasant to drive, and well made, I always liked the way it looked (OK, a little old-fashioned now, but so am I…) But it was built and styled conservatively – it won’t be featured in a Murilee Martin Junkyard Find post, with everyone commenting “I can’t believe we used to drive crap that looks like THAT!”

    And that brings me to the current crop of Acuras. I can’t bear to look at the TL, which has not one single good line, IMHO. It may be a great-driving car, and they remain well-made – but expensive and fugly!

    Oh, and by the way – I like my FWD just fine, thank you. If I wanted to drive ten-tenths, I wouldn’t buy a near-luxury car. And I drive in horrible New York area weather, and the FWD has been sure-footed through lots of winters.

    So my advice to Acura, if they care to speak to a satisfied owner (who is unlikely to own any of their current crop): bring back a nice, conservatively styled, well-equipped car, and price it as aggressively as you used to. (Otherwise, I know a nice Korean manufacturer that has its eyes on me.)

  • avatar
    mypoint02

    My wife and I checked out the current lineup at the Chicago Auto Show. She liked both the RDX and MDX and I did as well. I don’t think too many changes are needed there, apart from some minor exterior changes (ie: the beak and goofy looking headlights). Their sedan line on the other hand needs a major overhaul. The current TL is just plain ugly and overwrought – especially sad when you compare it to how great the previous gen looked – and the TLX doesn’t depart from it enough. The RL and ILX are too bland. There’s no reason to choose either one over its competitors.

    All the planners need to do is read what the B&B have been saying for years. Get rid of the meaningless names. Bring back Legend, Vigor, and Integra. Eliminate the beak. Bring the sexy back. Be a leader in technology, sportiness, and reliability. It’s not too late for Acura, but a few more years like the ones they’ve had recently and it will be. I for one hope they succeed.

  • avatar

    Integra. Legend.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Acura needs to design car so it fits people in the back seat first. I sat in the ILX since it is a competitor with my Verno and I could sit upright in the back seat unless I was slouching. The rest of the lineup was unmemorable while kicking tires and slamming doors.

  • avatar
    WRC555

    Totally agree with the model names change-back. Luxury brands mostly sell to older people who have the $. When I talk about Acura cars at family gatherings, people older than 50 only know two Acuras, Legend and Integra.

  • avatar
    autoguy

    The reason I will never buy an Acura is I absolutely detest the styling or lack thereof of Acura which started its downward spiral with introduction of the hideous “beak grille”. Instead of abandoning the beak and hiring a completing new design studio as I find even the so called new models styling to be at uninspired. bland and dated. To me it really shows how clueless Acura designers are when a 2014 Mazda 6 would look like the more expensive and more stunningly attractive vehicle than the poorly executed RLX. Perhaps I should not be to surprised as its parent company Honda is hardly known for its class leading styling as I find Hondas to be poorly styled, boring and bland. Even my good friend confessed to me that he bought his CR-V eventhough he did not like the styling.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India