Although it has had a solid year and its sales are up 24 percent over 2009, it appears that the recession knocked hard Acura’s dream to become a first-tier luxury player.
Currently, the battle in this segment is taken between Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Bmw. Moreover, to reduce costs, Honda executives halted plans for a new V8 engine and rear wheel drive.
Apparently, according to Vicki Poponi, American Honda Motor Co.'s assistant vice president for product planning, Acura needs to find out “who we are and who we want to be”.
"The direction we were going became irrelevant within 60 days," said Steve Center, chief marketing officer for American Honda when he referred to the economic crash. "We missed the window. We've had to reconnoiter. We had to go with our strengths." he added.
And things are not quite bad for Acura, as it was rated the top luxury brand for residual value for the past two years, by Automotive Lease Guide.
According to Autodata and Truecar, Acura spends just $2,600 per vehicle on incentives, which is the lowest of any luxury brand excepting Lexus. [via autonews - sub. required]