TTAC News Round-up: The Acura NSX is No Halo Car

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

The halo effect isn’t working for Acura with its NSX.

That, governments in Canada and those of states in the U.S. are still looking to make Volkswagen suffer for crimes against nature, Ford decides to stop producing the F-150 for a bit, Subaru reconsiders its headquarters in New Jersey, and VW could be forced to buy back all its vehicles sold with defeat devices … after the break!

The NSX may not be the halo vehicle Acura had hoped

Bringing back the NSX as a way to remind consumers of Acura’s grandeur and majesty hasn’t worked as intended. Acura’s overall sales year-to-date are down 9.3 percent thanks to sedans taking tanking hard with a 17-percent hit over the same period.

But the NSX still garners a lot of attention for Acura: it’s prominent in media and featured in ad campaigns with other Acura models. Additionally, the company claims its data shows one visitor in four to the NSX page on the Acura website also views other Acura models — but those views aren’t translating to sales.

“That’s definitely something we hope to translate into sales later down the line,” Jon Ikeda, Acura’s general manager, told Automotive News. “As soon as possible is our dream point.”

Ed Kim, vice president of industry analysis at AutoPacific, isn’t so sure that Acura can translate NSX exposure into increased sales for its other offerings. “A person in the market for a $200,000 supercar isn’t the person who will be tempted into buying a $40,000 TLX,” said Kim.

The spread between the NSX and the next model below it, the RLX, is over $100,000, which is still a wide gulf.

Canada and the state of Missouri want their own pounds of flesh from Volkswagen

The Canadian government is punishing investigating Volkswagen for violations of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act because of its importation of vehicles that cheat emissions testing procedures.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) told Automotive News Canada it “may recommend to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada that charges be laid” if there is sufficient evidence of the violations.

South of the border, Missouri just threw its hat in the ring and became the 17th state to take direct legal action against the German automaker over the emissions scandal.

“Volkswagen’s actions demonstrate a flagrant disregard for Missouri’s environmental laws, as well as the health and welfare of Missourians,” Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said in a statement on Monday.

Kansas City F-150 production takes a knee, among others

Ford is temporarily suspending F-150 production at its Kansas City assembly plant, in addition to other plants, to curb the effects of bulging inventory and slowing demand.

Roughly 9,000 hourly workers in the United States and 4,000 in Mexico will be laid off during the temporary shutdowns. F-150 production at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan will continue without interruption, however.

The suspensions also impact two sport utility vehicles, the Ford Escape and the Lincoln MKC, at its Louisville Assembly Plant for two weeks. The Escape is the company’s second best-selling U.S. model after the F-150, but U.S. sales were down 12 percent in September.

According to Reuters, U.S. workers with over one year of experience will get about 80 percent of their normal paychecks during the shutdowns. Ford did not give details on compensation for the workers in Mexico.

Subaru reconsiders its move to New Jersey

After New Jersey governor Chris Christie scrapped income tax agreement between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Subaru of America is reconsidering its plan to move into a headquarters being constructed in Camden.

“We are concerned for the long-term future of the city of Camden if this legislation comes into play as it will significantly affect the available labor and talent pool by creating an extra tax burden for those people living in Pennsylvania and working in New Jersey,” Tim Doll, COO for Subaru of America, said in an email response to Automotive News.

Subaru didn’t say whether it would sell the building or hold out for further incentives and grants from New Jersey.

VW seeks final approval of emissions deal — without a fix

Volkswagen is asking for a sign-off on its $14.7 billion settlement while it continues to seek regulators’ approval on a fix — which Volkswagen has still yet to figure out — for the 482,000 emissions cheating diesels now on American roads. Without a remedy for the dirty diesels plying American roadways, the VW might be forced to buy back every single car equipped with a defeat device.

According to Bloomberg, VW has already agreed to spend as much as $10 billion to buy back the 2.0-liter TDI models in question and compensate drivers. The company also plans to pay $2.7 billion to federal and California regulators to fund pollution-reduction projects and $2 billion to be invested in clean tech.

A court conference on Volkswagen Group’s 3.0-liter diesels has been scheduled for November 3.

[Images: Acura; Francis Storr/ Flickr ( CC BY-SA 2.0); Ford Motor Company; Subaru of America; Volkswagon]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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2 of 28 comments
  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Oct 18, 2016

    I saw a new NSX on the road today. I've actually seen more McLaren, but again in the four counties around NYC, you expect bizarro cars in the real world. The back is not exciting, but the front is unique profile.

  • Voyager Voyager on Oct 20, 2016

    VW's take no prisoners scorched earth conquer all strategy backfired big time. Perhaps the German attorney general should look into the possibility of prosecuting VW's higher management that should have been held accountable in the first place. Fine and jail whoever is found guilty. Otherwise this could drag on for years to come.

  • Lou_BC Collective bargaining provides workers with the ability to counter a rather one-sided relationship. Let them exercise their democratic right to vote. I found it interesting that Conservative leaders were against unionization. The fear there stems from unions preferring left leaning political parties. Wouldn't a "populist" party favour unionization?
  • Jrhurren I enjoyed this
  • Jeff Corey, Thanks again for this series on the Eldorado.
  • AZFelix If I ever buy a GM product, this will be the one.
  • IBx1 Everyone in the working class (if you’re not in the obscenely wealthy capital class and you perform work for money you’re working class) should unionize.