There is a new Honda Civic on a new platform with a very well-equipped Touring trim available. The tenth-generation is a hot seller and it claimed top sales honours among passenger cars in April.
Yet sales of another car, based on the old Honda Civic’s platform, are on the rise. Indeed, sales of the Acura ILX, admittedly updated for 2016 but very much a close relative of the ninth-generation Civic, have risen nine percent in a car market which tumbled eight percent through the first five months of 2016.
Why? (Read More…)
Acura is turning 30, and to celebrate, it’s turning its attention away from the yuppy Gen-Xers who first discovered the brand to the hopeful, car-buying Millennials of today.
It’s not pandering for vehicle sales, it’s a relationship, see?
Honda’s luxury marque just launched a marketing campaign that seems perfectly designed to lure in the largest-growing segment of car buyers. Called “30 Years Young,” the ad plays up Acura’s status as the leading luxury brand of this age demographic, while stroking the ego of the Millennial buyer. (Read More…)
In the latest installment of the worldwide internet sensation, Ask Bark?, we hear from Josh, who’s struggling with deciding what to buy for his family of four.
I need advice. I’m looking for a new car. I’m 40 and married. I have a good job and two kids. I’ve owned old Volvos, Saabs, VWs (and paid those bills) and even a black 1969 Lincoln. (I’m sure this will be relevant at some point —B.)
As part of Acura’s plans to “rationalize” (as the b-school buzzword goes) the ILX’s powertrains, the 6-speed stick shift is dead, replaced by an all-new 8-speed dual clutch gearbox. It also marks the end of an era for the brand.
To the soothing strains of The Sex Pistols, Acura fully revealed the second-gen ILX at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show [UPDATE – 12:05 p.m. Pacific, 11/20/2014: Live photos now available – CA].
Back in September, I wrote a piece lamenting the death of Honda’s high-perofrmance hallmark, the twin-cam VTEC 4-cylinder engine. It was just the sort of article many of you are fed up with: a lengthy piece filled with flowery prose and Honda fanboy-ism sprinkled with a condescending explanation of the auto industry’s inner workings. Miraculously, it was fairly well-received. But I’ve had a change of heart.
The Acura ILX has been derided as being nothing more than a gussied-up Honda Civic, an analogy that I too applied to the compact Acura when it first arrived. But then our own Brendan McAleer caused me to question my dismissal of the ILX. How many shoppers out there are willing to option-up a base model by 50% and don’t think twice about the fact their “limited” model looks just like the base model? All of a sudden the ILX, especially the 2.4L model we tested made sense to me. What was the revelation? Click through the jump to find out.
The Acura TSX’s future has been in doubt ever since the debut of the smaller ILX, but more than ever, the rebadged European Accord appears to be living on borrowed time.
A few weeks ago, I posted an article entitled “Cars That Look Good But Aren’t.” I thought this was a particularly brilliant piece of writing, primarily because virtually every word was spelled correctly. After finishing it, I patted myself on the back and said “Good job, Doug.” Then I got in my Nissan Cube and shielded my face from passersby.
But it wasn’t long before the hate mail started coming in.
The first hate mail came from my mother, as per usual, who wrote: “Does this mean you still don’t have a real job? Also, why are you making fun of the Infiniti G20?” Mom wasn’t alone in her criticism. Minutes later, responses started pouring in from the Best and Brightest, who – once known for their love of the Panther platform – have apparently felt the effects of rising gas prices and decided to instead stand behind the similarly outdated Infiniti G20.
Looks like we were wrong in reporting the demise of the Acura ILX’s 2.0L engine option. Despite reports from Automotive News which claimed that the 2.0L ILX was on its way out of the lineup, Acura PR contradicted these reports, claiming they are “pure speculation”. The initial AN article seemed credible, in part because it was based on negative comments about the car made by Honda’s Executive VP John Mendel. We apologize for not verifying the information before publishing our piece. And by “we” I of course am refering to myself.
Acura’s ILX is 2/3rds of the way to hitting its 30,000 unit annual sales target, and the brand is hoping that the discontinuation of the base car’s 2.0L engine will help kickstart sales.
Like Lexus and Infiniti, Acura launched with two models, a bespoke flagship sedan and a smaller car based on an existing mainstream model. Unlike the Lexus ES 250 and the Infiniti M30, though, the Acura Integra received rave reviews. The Integra was discontinued for 2002 as part of Acura’s failed upmarket push. The Civic-based Integra sedan’s slot was sort of filled with the larger, heavier European Accord-based TSX. The 2004 TSX was a good car, but it was no Integra, and the model gained additional inches and pounds with a 2009 redesign. For 2013 Acura returns to its original playbook with a Civic-based four-door model. They’re not yet ready to officially admit the stupidity of going alphanumeric, so the new car is unfortunately appellated the ILX.
Even though 85 percent of Hondas sold in North American are built on the continent, the strong yen is hurting the company’s Japanese exports to the point where Honda is losing money on them.
With a few of our readers providing some particularly good insight into Acura’s ILX campaign based on their work in marketing, I’m submitting an ad for the TSX from 2009 for their consideration, as well as my own commentary.
The ad, like all ads today, is aspirational, not reflective. It is showing you something you want to be, not “a person like you would like these products.”
The rest of the article talks about a sort of “aspirational fantasy” (my term, not theirs). JC Penny is trying to do it in their ad (discussed in the article) and Acura is trying to do it here. The problem is they haven’t quite got it.