By on September 6, 2018

Acura treated the world to a surprise — and much-needed — refresh for the 2019 ILX this week. While it hasn’t abandoned the brand’s signature visuals, it finally made the model interesting enough to warrant a closer examination. Previous incarnations of the ILX — including the post-2016 facelift — have proven excruciatingly dull, resulting in the quick onset of a cripplingly severe mental malaise.

Based on the ninth-generation Honda Civic, all one could really say about the 2018 ILX was that it was a competent vehicle and perfect for someone seeking luxury on a budget. Then came the brow furrowing, a long sigh, and an extended speech about the superiority of Acura’s TSX.

Normal people also appear to have noticed something was missing, as ILX sales have followed a downward trajectory since 2015. However, Acura’s new styling attempts to remedy that by injecting the sedan with some personality.  (Read More…)

By on November 19, 2017

2017 Honda Odyssey

It’s never easy to find out something you thought was objectively perfect has a fatal flaw. Honda is recalling over 800,000 Odyssey minivans due to faulty passenger seating that has resulted in around 46 reported injuries. According to the manufacturer, vehicles from the 2011-2017 model years may have second rows that latch improperly.

The solution? Honda says its working on that and will be issuing an official recall late next month, once it knows the best way to approach the repairs. In the meantime, it has provided step-by-step instructions on how to properly position the second row outer seats and confirm they are securely latched to the floor. The final step involves shaking the crap out of a seat to insure it does not tip forward.  (Read More…)

By on August 23, 2017

2017 Acura CDX - Image: Acura ChinaThe long-established U.S. auto industry is essentially impossible to turn on its head. An automaker can’t simply show up with a new brand or a new philosophy or new design tactics and instantly upset the apple cart.

Just as you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, it’s difficult to teach an old automobile market to adopt new buying habits. Market share swings are incremental. Progress is slow. At Acura, for example, facelifts of the TLX and RLX sedans and improved availability of the MDX (after moving some production to Ohio) will likely not combine to increase the brand’s market share by even one-tenth of one percent.

Given the difficulties faced by Acura in America — sales have fallen by more than a quarter since 2005 — Honda’s premium brand is turning its gaze to a larger, fresher, less established market. A market where buying habits are not cemented, where market share is still up for grabs, where market-specific vehicles are the norm.

And if Acura can soon succeed in China, where the brand has high hopes for the near-term, then Acura stands a much better chance of succeeding in America. (Read More…)

By on February 23, 2015
Takanobu Ito

Takanobu Ito

Hans Greimel of the Automotive News is reporting that Takanobu Ito will be replaced in June by Takahiro Hachigo as president and CEO of Honda Motor Company. Ito’s replacement comes after a spate of recalls in its home market of Japan led to a delay in a number of new product launches, followed by the even more image corroding recall of millions of cars worldwide due to Takata supplied airbags that can detonate which have been linked to six deaths.

(Read More…)

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