By on August 31, 2017

2017 Honda NSX Red - Image: HondaIt’s early days for the second-generation Acura NSX, known in most global markets as the Honda NSX. After a decade-long hiatus, the Ohio-built NSX only returned in the summer of 2016.

Yet 577 copies of the NSX have been sold in America during the supercar’s first 14 months. In the much smaller and less supercar-friendly Canadian market, 82 copies of the Acura NSX have been sold since July 2016, including 29 in the last two months.

And in Australia? Down Under, sales of the Acura Honda NSX have been less, shall we say, numerous. So far, Honda Australia has reported… carry the one, find the inverse sine, if c is equal to a+b… a grand total of two NSX sales.

Two. Dos. Zwei. Ni. 

The reasons are obvious.

Honda Australia priced the NSX from AUD $420,000.

“Well sure,” you say, “but Aussie dollars are smaller.” And you’re right, an Australian dollar is worth less than an American dollar. But AUD $420,000 is still the equivalent of USD $332,000 for a car that’s priced at $157,800 in the United States.

“Well sure,” you say, “but you can’t just compare markets like that. Cars are priced differently in different parts of the world.” And you’d be right again, except that a number of cars that are known to be more expensive than the NSX in America are significantly less expensive than the NSX in Australia.

Take, for instance, the Audi R8 V10 Plus, which costs 24-percent more in the U.S. than the NSX, yet costs 7-percent less than the NSX in Australia. Surprise, surprise: the R8 V10 Plus is 20 times more popular than the Acura NSX so far this year, according to CarAdvice.

The Mercedes-AMG GT has generated 72 Australian sales in 2017, compared with just a single NSX sold so far this year. (One was sold in December 2016.) Australia’s Porsche stores have sold nearly 30 911 Turbos in 2017. McLaren has reported 60 total sales in Australia in 2017; 60 percent of those are 570S models priced at $379,000.

Priced somewhat more appropriately in Australia is the $299,000 Nissan GT-R Nismo. That’s equal to USD $237,000 for a car that’s priced at $176,685 in America. Nissan has reported 21 sales of the GT-R Nismo so far this year.2017 Acura NSX front - Image: HondaBut by doubling the cost of the Honda NSX during its transfer from Marysville to Melbourne, demand for the car is essentially shut down. “Apart from what we’ve delivered, we currently have three other orders [for the NSX] in the pipeline,” Honda Australia’s Neil McDonald tells CarAdvice, “with deliveries likely later this year or next year, depending on the manufacturing slots at the factory in the U.S.”

Count’em. Five NSX sales by 2018 in a segment that produces 10 AMG GT sales per month.

“It wasn’t positioned, nor was it expected, to chase outright volume sales,” McDonald says.

That’s for sure. It was positioned as a Honda with a Ferrariesque price.

Honda Australia maintains a belief that the brand benefits from the NSX’s Australian import, by “raising the profile” and “telling the story of Honda” and evoking “memories of the original NSX.” All-time, Honda sold 280 first-gen NSXs in Australia.

With two sales of the new NSX under its belt and another three eventually, it’s going to take some time for the new NSX to live up to the old car. A price change might help, Honda Australia says, “We’ve been very happy with the response and interest in it.” Expectations must be managed, mate.

[Images: Honda]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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48 Comments on “Priced in the Supercar Stratosphere, the New Honda NSX Is Hilariously Uncommon in Australia...”

  • avatar

    Most Australians who can afford a car like this just move out of the country.

    • 0 avatar

      Would you want a car that the your country would take away from you if you stood on the gas pedal for two consecutive seconds? Is testosterone legal in Australia?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Then why have road rules. Maybe your coq is small and you pretend you have ballz. This goes along with a small brain.

        If you want to race go to the track. But hey, you probably own a piece of sh!t that wouldn’t pass scrutineering, like your driving ability.

        • 0 avatar

          Seriously Big Al, this response is entirely uncalled for. And as an Australian, I think that the level of vitriol directed to the previous poster makes us look bad.

          Todd makes a very valid point. The hoon laws in Australia are very draconian, and it is very easy for someone, who with a moments inattention, to fall foul of these laws and have their car confiscated.

          If any scorn is required, might I suggest you direct them at the government who enact these unreasonable laws, or yourself for being a pathetic holier than thou asshat.

          • 0 avatar

            “I think that the level of vitriol directed to the previous poster makes us look bad.”

            You must be new here. He has single-handedly convinced dozens of people to avoid contributing to the Australian economy. Lost cause.

          • 0 avatar

            Forget it Jethrow, the Australian Tourism Bureau has a contract out on Big Al. He is a one-man Australian-image wrecking crew. My original comment was just a joke directed at him. Australia is awesome, except for Big Al, who, by the way – for completely unexplained reasons – only poops at McDonalds.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Read his comment. It is irresponsible.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            I have pretty much spent the year away from Australia. France this and last week. Spain next and back to France. I’ll be back in Australia near Xmas.

            I travel alot and see the world. Australian police do police harder, but if you are not breaking any driving rules you have nothing to worry about.

            As for tourism, Australia does okay. Remember I am a ‘Murican citizen, so I do believe this offers me scope to pass the judgment I do. Also remember I just left Washington State, had a great time and met some fantastic people. Its a pity more on this site are like them. But I think this site attracts someassh0les. But I will continue to highlight them ;)

            What I have noticed, and I hope Australia never becomes ailed of is what I term the French/Britannia/US Syndrome. “Beaucoup Arrogance.” I hope we remain a down to earth society.

            That is why Australia is a great tourist destination.

      • 0 avatar

        They’d have to catch you first, and given that I see a police car maybe once a month, there isn’t much chance of that.

        Our roads are so poor, I *accidentally* light up my rear tyres several times a day on average. Some of our main roads are coarse chip concrete. Many of them are broken up and badly repaired.

        I’ve seen people doing crazy illegal stuff in the vicinity of a police car which doesn’t even bother to pull them over. You have to have bad luck or be doing something really dumb to get pulled over.

        • 0 avatar

          That’s true, you do have to be doing something reasonably stupid, or be driving a Commodore with no exhaust to get pulled over.

          I’ve been driving around for 10 days with no number plates. Still haven’t been pulled over.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            It also comes down to what state you are in.

            Why are you driving with no plates? Just go to Bunnings and buy some screws for a couple of dollars.

            I also think most Aussie police vehicles have plate recognition.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Not really. Most want to come to Australia.

      Retail pricing in Australia is slowly changing. The biggest culprits in overcharging are US and EU companies.

      I do believe Australia has the highest rate per capita of perfomance vehicles.

      I don’t think it is just pricing holding back the NSX. The vehicle could be wanting a little. But its a Honda. Can I say more. They are all over priced for what they are.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      Of course it doesn’t sell there. All they buy down under are midsized diesel pickups that are faster and handle better than this all while hauling a grand piano in the bed and getting 800 mpg…and that is BEFORE the Trifecta Tune!

      • 0 avatar

        Sort of a non story. I remember when the original NSX was around and that too wasnt selling.

        They wanted $200k for a 3.2 v6 with power torque figures laughable today.

        I think this new NSX is flopping everywhere.

        But back to the point here… I think I will defer to the great Donald Trump when I hear Americans heap crap on Australia… “do you think we’re so innocent?”

        try some big time speeding in the US and see how it gets you

        like many western economies we all have the same issues when it comes to road infractions

        its bad here and its less bad in the US

        be that as it may, I feel that police presence here is falling anyway and you can still do big time speeding as long as you pick your times

        also look at the performance market here… i get the death of the V8 but do see a lack of AMG Mercedes here?

        The C63 seems to have found its 2nd home here.

        You see a heap of a lot more McLarens Lamborghinis around, not so much Ferraris I feel.

        Sure I get the fact that 40-50-60 zones are all over the joint but hey, arent they a part of any major city with millions of people in cars?

  • avatar

    Impressive grip in that picture!

    (I know the upside-down picture will probably be fixed to right side up by the time I click send.)

  • avatar

    Even at normal price, I’m not sure the NSX is worth it. If you are a fan of the original NSX, the only carry overs are the cylinder count, engine position, and questionable value.

    • 0 avatar

      The first gen was, upon arrival, the greatest all around performance car ever built. By a mile. (Obscenely priced and exceedingly rare 959 possibly excepted.)

      Driving one back to back with the Testarossa and 911 turbo could easily confirm ones fear that Japan was indeed going to completely take over and bypass the entire West in not too long. Absolute revelation, as far as getting a supercar to do supercar things, without sacrificing anything taken for granted in more mainstream vehicles.

      It’s still in many ways a benchmark. Even ones that haven’t been babied. Along with the LS, SC and E36 from the same era, it still remains as close to a perfect car as cardom has ever come.

      While I’m sure the new one is nice, it’s now just one of a whole bunch of pointlessly fast, and mostly refined, reliable and simple enough to drive and live with, cars. In a world where speed enforcement is an order of magnitude more draconian than it was back in the 90s.

      • 0 avatar

        Except it is boring (and yes, I have driven one). There is such a thing as too perfect. A Ferrari of the era is a truly terrible car, but it has a sense of occasion that the Honda is completely and utterly lacking.

        • 0 avatar

          If you found the original NSX “boring”, especially compared to the always either broken or breaking, clumsy and half finished competitors of the era, you must be a special kind of masochist.

    • 0 avatar
      Guitar man

      The Porsche Cayenne costs up to $600k in Australia.

      They sell quite a few of them.

      Perhaps if Honda put big silly wheels on the NSX they would sell more ?

  • avatar

    So what exactly is the import penalty if you buy elsewhere? I know there are some taxes and fees, but if small-scale carbitrage can occur between, say, the UK and Netherlands, it seems reasonable that with a price gap this big, Aussies would be importing these things buy the containerload.

    The only reasonable explanation there would be some arbitrary 50%+ tariff on car imports from the US or something.

  • avatar

    I hate to own one of those five and need parts down the road.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen more McLaren in the wild than this. One, exactly, in Westchester County NY, one of the top ten wealthiest areas in the US. It was red, and driven by a guy whose bulk led me to believe he was a sports star of some sort, but as I”m sport illterate, no idea.

    The other is on the local dealer floor, with a $250k sticker, IIRC. Dealer “entertaining offers”…..It has been there a few months now.

    • 0 avatar

      While I don’t live in an exceptionally wealthy part of the world, I have seen *one* NSX in Western Michigan. I’d forgotten they went on sale last year…

      I’ve seen more Lamborghinis here in traffic. Hey, I even share a commute with a guy in a GT3. I see him going the opposite way every morning and evening.

      However, the NSX I did see was that beautiful shade of red as the car in the lead pic. Gorgeous.

    • 0 avatar

      I live in Silicon Valley and seen none. Otherwise all kinds of expensive cars, all of them European. Apparently no one wants Asian car for that kind of money.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Vehicle pricing in Oz relies heavily on quantity moved.

    Even if 30 NSX’es were sold Honda is obliged to maintain support over the expected vehicle life.

    Overall retail pricing in Australia is highly variable. It is changing. Most items are the same or cheaper now.

    Australian retailers 3 to 4 decades ago used the excuse of isolation. But since the internet people are wiser. I read a story where Ikea tried to charge 50% more for the same piece of furniture as in the US and use the excuse of isolation. The customer pointed out the furniture was produced in Indonesia.

    From a vehicle pricing perspective we do okay compared to the US. Also getting whatever vehicle we want is another Aussie bonus, something you don’t have in socialist protected markets. Even the EU has a more access to vehicles than the US.

  • avatar

    I face this all the time in my industry. People price things at absurd margins trying to create “value” by high price point; it’s wag-the dog thinking. Higher prices reflect value; high price in itself does not create value.

    • 0 avatar

      There are definitely products where a higher price in itself increases the value of the product:

      If Rolexes cost $15 their appeal would be greatly reduced; since the product’s main function is not to actually tell the wearer what time it is but to signal to other people “I have sufficient disposable income to afford an expensive Rolex”. Their price *is* their quality.

      Insane pricing is also sometimes a way of telling a customer no without actually saying “No”. Sometimes if I don’t want to do a project I’ll quote it crazy high in order to virtually ensure I won’t get it; or that if I do somehow get it anyway it will be very worth my while. Maybe Honda doesn’t want to sell many NSXs in Australia.

      • 0 avatar

        Not to say that value is unlinked from price, but my point is that the price premium of a Rolex is the value of its wearer trying to signal wealth…. compare that to the whatever lasting prestige one of the rebooted Swiss watch brands have.

        Value is literally whatever the buyer and seller agree the price to be. The seller can pump the price up however much they want, but if there isn’t a buyer to agree to it, then it doesn’t really have as much value as advertised.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        The problem is the NSX is a Casio, not a Rolex. Who would pay insane money for a Casio or Honda?

        • 0 avatar

          Granted that a Casio accomplishes the task of timekeeping better than a Rolex while being at least equally reliable I could just as easily ask why pay insane money for a Rolex?

  • avatar

    “evoking memories of the original NSX”

    That’s your problem. We remember the original NSX – the real one – very well. It wasn’t AUTOMATIC-ONLY. It wasn’t pig-heavy. It wasn’t a hybrid. Give me the real one 8 days a week.

  • avatar

    The bigger story is 577 US sales in 14 months – pretty weak demand – I suspect that all the Ferrari and most of the Lambo models do better than that. Porsche sells that many 911s every couple weeks. Heck, even Cadillac sold more ELRs. And Acura/Honda probably sells virtually none of the NSX models in Europe or Asia, while Porsche, Ferrari, Lambo, etc. sell boatloads. Where’s the Acura love?

  • avatar

    In the Seattle area, where you frequently run aside Ferraris and Lamborghinis enough that even my toddlers recognize them, I’ve yet to see the new NSX. I’ve probably seen 10 old NSXes already this year, but I’ve never seen the new one.

    We were getting our MDX the free dealer oil change at Lynnwood Acura, and the staff was on high alert and giddy, I was told, because an NSX was coming in for a oil change service.

  • avatar

    That Aussie price lets you know everything about how Acura is a dead brand walking.

    In the US, the NSX has the same problem the LFA did… Too expensive for the brand to support it, meaning it becomes too rare to have any real halo effect.

    I’ve seen 1 in the Bay area, and this is an area where the McLaren dealership is booming, Ferraris are relatively common, kids get dropped off to school in top trim Panameras, etc. And, honestly, even to me, someone who identifies cars via taillights at night, it looked like an R8 with an ugly grill.

    Acura could have supported a $100,000 exotic-beater maybe. And I mean maybe. They would have been better off doing a sub-$50,000 roadster to compete against the F-type and Z5. Something to show a new, gorgeous design language and try and bring back some luxury aspiration to the brand versus the current model of “a slightly nicer Accord and a reliable 3-row SUV that you bought since Lexus doesn’t make one (yet)”.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    Having driven an original NSX ( glorious ); a 911 Carrera S ( sister’s car ); and a Testarossa ( reeked of unburnt gas and had a crap clutch and couldn’t be seen out of and idled poorly and sucked minivan drivers in with cell-phone cameras at the broadside ), I’d have a bone-stock Nissan GT-R.

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