Honda Establishes New Acura Planning Arm For Brand Overhaul
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.
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.
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.
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.