Acura execs already mulling new models after NSX supercar

Article by Andrew Christian, on January 20, 2015

Not long after unveiling the new Acura NSX supercar at the Detroit Auto Show, executives at the premium carmaker are already mulling to add more offerings as part of the brand’s revival plan. "The opportunity for us would be to maybe add another arrow in the quiver, another model in the lineup," Erik Berkman, head of the Acura Business Planning Office said at the show.

He noted that compared to Acura’s rivals, there are some categories in which the premium unit of Honda is not competing, like coupe and compact crossover segments. He added that they are considering an upmarket version of the Honda HR-V compact crossover underpinned by the Fit platform.

But getting the higher ups at Honda’s main headquarters back at Japan approve those offerings is another story. Acura’s executive could consider a lot of things, but only a few may make sense to their bosses in Tokyo, especially if the premium brand is selling well in the United States.

In reality, the brand only sold 1 percent more vehicles in 2014 in the US to 167,843 units, and none of Acura’s five nameplates are nearing 100,000 sales. Berkman said that Acura will not try to “shotgun” a number of categories at once, but will proceed step by step.

While Acura's r&d center in Ohio has grown enough to independently develop a sophisticated car like the NSX, the brand still relies on drivetrains engineered in Japan.

Unveiling the NSX supercar at the Detroit auto show may give Acura the needed pull to gain over buyers not only in the US but also in other parts of the world. Berkman noted that while Acura has some capability, it doesn’t enough absolute resources to “do every program that's on the books."

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