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Acura Chief Accavitti Unexpectedly Exits

New Acura boss is veteran designer Jon Ikeda.

by on Jul.28, 2015

Mike Accavitti with a prototype Acura TLX at its preview during the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

With sales growing well ahead of the industry overall, everything seemed to be going right for Acura boss Mike Accavitti. But the industry veteran has unexpectedly exited the Japanese luxury brand, parent Honda Motor Co. offering no explanation for his departure.

Accavitti will be succeeded by Jon Ikeda, who had served as head of Honda’s U.S. R&D operations and who was trained as a designer before joining Honda in 1989.

Your Inside Source!

“Jon Ikeda brings tremendous knowledge and talent to Acura,” John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, said in a statement. “From deep R&D experience with the brand, he has emerged as the ultimate advocate for Acura and has built a record of solid achievement and success.”

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Acura Betting on Biggest Ad Blitz Ever for New TLX

Critical launch comes later this month.

by on Aug.04, 2014

Acura launches an ad blitz for the new TLX this month.

Counting on the all-new midrange TLX sport sedan to reverse years of weak sales, Acura will launch the largest and most expensive  advertising blitz in the brand’s history.

The move could be critical for the Honda luxury marque, Acura sales tumbling 17.6% in July despite the addition of several recent sedans, the base ILX and flagship RLX. The TLX targets what Acura’s top executive Mike Accavitti has described as the “sweet spot” of the luxury market. But the challenge is to reach potential buyers who have largely written off the brand.

Getting the Message Out!

Acura will reveal its new ads this coming Friday – though it is already pitching the car in Canada by emphasizing performance and spirited driving. The American campaign will go live in mid-August, Accatti said, even as the maker and its motorsports partner, Real Time Racing, hope to build buzz with a track version of the TLX sedan.

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Acura MDX Sales Set Record – But Passenger Cars Remain a Problem

Japanese luxury brand bills MDX as best-selling 3-row ute ever.

by on Jul.11, 2014

The 2014 Acura MDX has readily outsold all its competitors in the three-row luxury SUV category.

With sales up more than 68% so far this year, Acura is billing its MDX as the best-selling three-row luxury SUV ever. The redesign has clearly clicked with consumers, but the MDX has been a hot-seller ever since its introduction 15 years ago, topping all other three-row competitors every year since 2002.

That’s the good news for Acura, but there’s also plenty of bad. Despite introducing several new passenger cars in recent years, including its entry-level ILX and flagship RDX, Acura’s passenger cars simply aren’t cutting it with consumers.

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So, despite the surge in sales of the brand’s big SUV, Acura’s overall volume slumped 18.6% in June, making it one of the few brands to report a decline as the U.S. car market continues its recovery.

“MDX is the clear benchmark in its class,” crowed the Acura Division’s General Manager Mike Accavitti, proclaiming that “Luxury car buyers have spoken.”

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Acura Places Bet on China – But Remains Focused on U.S.

Maker to open plant in China by 2016.

by on Jul.22, 2013

Honda will revive the Acura NSX for 2015.

Honda’s long-struggling luxury brand Acura reportedly plans to start building cars in China in 2016, targeting what is soon expected to become the world’s largest market for highline vehicles.

But Acura officials insist that even as they look for other opportunities abroad, they are increasing their focus on what has traditionally been their largest market, the United States.  They’re backing that up with an assortment of new products that will soon include an all-new version of the once ground-breaking supercar, the Acura NSX.

Your Global Auto News Source!

Honda plans to invest about $70 million on its flagship plant in Marysville, Ohio to get ready for the re-launch, late next year, of the revived NSX. The sleek, 2-seat sports car was once a showpiece of Asian automotive prowess and lent a halo to Honda’s Acura division, the first Japanese brand to target the demanding luxury market.  But after a 15-year-run, the NSX was pulled from production in 2005 a move that coincided with Acura’s sharp downturn, leading some to wonder whether it could survive, especially as the automotive market plunged into recession.

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Acura Pushing For 45% Sales Growth in 2012

Maker betting on new ILX, redesigned RDX for big surge.

by on Mar.23, 2012

The 2013 Acura ILX will be a critical piece of the brand's turnaround strategy.

After years of struggle, Japan’s first luxury car brand is forecasting a 45% surge in demand this year that will help it challenge top-tier rivals.

Acura officials say they’re counting on new and updated models – notably the entry-luxury ILK sedan and redesigned RDX crossover — to provide the moment that will boost sales to 180,000 for the year.  An all-new flagship scheduled to debut at the New York Auto Show next month should also add momentum.

Insight!

“This is where we think we would have been” were it not for the impact of last year’s Japanese earthquake and tsunami, said Acura marketing chief Jeff Conrad.

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Honda Aims to Recover Lost Ground in 2012

New products like Accord, CR-V will be critical.

by on Dec.21, 2011

The 2012 CR-V will be critical to Honda's recovery.

Honda believes it is in a strong position to win back the market share it was forced to surrender this year as it adjusted production to cope with earthquakes and flooding.

The good news for the Japanese maker is that the major disruptions are finally behind it and with production and dealer inventories already on the rise, Honda is already regaining momentum, though it sees the big opportunity to rebuild sales coming in 2012, Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of American Honda told reporters during an appearance in Detroit.

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However, Imaura tempered his predictions of healthy gains next year with an acknowledgement Honda seriously underperformed in 2012, racking up a long string of monthly sales decline. “It will be really low bar,” Imaura noted.

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Toyota, Honda Report Big December Sales Gains

But both makers are down double-digits for all of ’09.

by on Jan.05, 2010

Lexus remained the best-selling luxury brand for 2009.

The market’s two largest Japanese brands reported significant sales upturns to wrap up the final month of an otherwise dismal 2009.  But both Toyota and Honda couldn’t erase hefty double-digit declines for the year overall.

Overall sales for the month rose 32.3% for Toyota Motor Sales USA, while American Honda reported a December gain of 24.5%.  The figures reflect the generally positive trend for the final month of 2009, leading many analysts to predict that the new year will bring the beginning of a long, albeit slow recovery for an industry down more than 40% from its mid-decade peak of more than 17 million vehicles.

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By the Numbers!

“Emerging from the rollercoaster of 2009, the industry has gained positive momentum for a gradual recovery,” said Toyota Senior Vice President Don Esmond.

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