Makeover of Honda’s premium brand Acura will start this spring

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 26, 2012

Honda Motor Co. is set to begin the redesign of its Acura luxury brand this spring. The timing could hardly be better since aside from the redesigned RDX compact crossover and the new ILX small sedan coming in spring, a preview of the refurbished RL flagship due this fall will be displayed at the New York motor show next month. Also, the volume-leading TL sedan and MDX mid-sized crossover are prepared for revamp for 2013.

By the end of 2014, the highly publicized NSX supercar is set to arrive. Six years ago, executives at Honda made a decision to bring the Acura brand upscale. They also cancelled the compact RSX hatchback, which is the brand's entry-level luxury offer and Integra's successor.

The timing could not have been worse because in less than three years, many of Acura's rivals publicized their intentions to provide products that suit the niches of Integra and the RSX. In addition, the worldwide economy had fallen and many buyers of premium automobiles pared back their purchases. Acura will go back to the entry-luxury segment with the ILX sedan in May.

The vehicle will have no hint of the RSX or Integra's sportiness. The brand is optimistic that it will appeal to the Generation Y clients. According to Acura Division general manager Jeff Conrad, the downfall of Lehman Brothers transformed the "philosophy for luxury purchases."

He explained that people are more logical in their buying decisions, taking pride in the transaction they strike." He noted that the Gen Y "aspires to luxury," but require "a little help getting there." The new range will showcase the ILX, TL, TSX and RL sedans. Conrad stated that the luxury brand has no intentions to eliminate any of these four sedans despite the fact that there is some overlap. He further explained that they have had a "pretty strong reliance" on sport-utilities and that they want to strengthen their sedans. He also disclosed that they are remaking the entire range "over the next few years."

Topics: honda, acura

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