The Acura division is expected to post bigger gain starting August when its mid-size TLX sports sedan arrives, Mike Accavitti, Honda’s US senior vice president for the brand, told Bloomberg in a phone interview. Acura will start production of the TLX – unveiled by Accavitti in New York last spring -- at Honda’s Marysville site in Ohio this month and is expected to reverse a slump for Acura sedans.
Acura gained only 1.3 percent in the first six months of 2014 – no thanks to a 32-percent slide in sedan sales offsetting a 31-percent surge in MDX and RDX SUV deliveries. Accavitti said that the launch of the TLX sedan will enable Acura to experience the same level of success as with the MDX and RDX.
In April, Honda transformed Acura into a division, providing it dedicated management, marketing and other resources. The brand will focus on the TLX and a promotional push, as it bid to catch up with other luxury marques like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Audi.
Takeshi Miyao, an auto analyst at Carnorama Japan noted that Acura doesn’t have a big lineup, adding that its sedans are not doing well. He said that since the TLX is being positioned “strategically in the volume zone,” he expects the model to help Acura compete with German luxury brands and Lexus.
Accavitti expects Acura to sell faster than the current pace of around 156,000 units in the US this year. Acura sold 165,436 units in 2013, and 77,951 units in first half of 2014.
BMW is leading the luxury car pack in the US with 157,382 deliveries. It is followed by Mercedes (151,624), Lexus (138,689), Audi (84,349) and Cadillac (82,117). Acura will commence promotion of the TLX next month in what Accavitti dubbed as “the biggest marketing campaign we’ve had.”
The all-new 2015 Acura TLX midsize sports sedan is the apparent heir to the premium carmaker’s TL. Slotted between the ILX entry-level sedan and the RLX flagship sedan, the new TLX represents the third vehicle in Acura's re-envisioned lineup of performance-luxury sedans.
Acura developed the new TLX under the 'Red Carpet Athlete' theme, allowing the new creation to dynamically combine the athleticism of sports sedan and the luxury refinement of premium red carpet. Acura also developed the new TLX according to its 'Synergy Between Man and Machine' product direction, allowing the new sports sedan to perform "at the will of the driver" while delivering intuitive, and thrilling driving dynamics.
The all-new Acura TLX is laden with an array of new technologies that allow it to offer high levels of sports-sedan performance and luxury refinement. For instance, the new TLX is available with two new engines (high-output direct-injected i-VTEC) and two advanced new gearboxes (like the Dual Clutch Transmission with torque converter).
Furthermore, the new TLX employs Acura’s latest precision-handling technologies like the Agile Handling Assist (AHA), Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) and the next-generation Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). Along with an all-new body and chassis design, these technologies help ensure that the TLX offers a quick and responsive sporty drive; stable and sure-footed maneuvers even in high speeds; as well as utmost comfort during long-distance trips.