Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Tuesday July 22, 2014
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
NASIOC
Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences Home Registration is free! Visit the NASIOC Store NASIOC Rules Search Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Calendar Archive NASIOC Upgrade Garage Logout
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC General > News & Rumors > Non-Subaru News & Rumors

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-11-2008, 12:43 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 73805
Join Date: Nov 2004
Default Acura aims to deliver big-league luxury

Quote:
LOS ANGELES--Honda's U.S. executives have pledged for years to make Acura a top-tier luxury brand, on par with Lexus, Mercedes, and BMW. Dealer Dave Conant is gambling $20 million that this time Honda will succeed.

That's how much Conant spent to upgrade his Acura dealership in suburban Los Angeles. The renovated store opened in May.

"We invested in this facility on the bet they really mean it," Conant told Automotive News.

Jeff Conrad, vice president of American Honda Motor's Acura division, concedes that dealers' expectations are high. He says Acura is working to improve its vehicles, marketing, and retail network. But achieving those goals will take time, he warns.

"Every product we launch becomes more of a Tier One product." Conrad says. "But you don't just snap your fingers and do it overnight. It is a long-term effort."

The redesigned 2009 Acura TL, a compact sedan that emerged from the brand's new design center in Torrance, Calif., is competitive with better-selling luxury models in styling and performance, Conrad says.

The TL has a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine and offers all-wheel drive as an option. It went on sale this fall with a base sticker price of $34,955, including shipping.

Acura dealers say they like the revamped TL. But T.Y. Lai, COO of the western region for DCH Auto Group, says sales of the redesigned model have been disappointing.

"We don't consider it luxury yet," says Lai, whose company owns four U.S. Acura dealerships. "I don't think the buyer considers it luxury."

Conrad says the marketing launch for the redesigned TL is Acura's most expensive campaign. He declined to disclose its budget.

RPA, American Honda's advertising agency, created an Acura division last year. The TL campaign is the first for the new unit. Its tag line: "The most powerful Acura ever built."

Wanted: Broader lineup

Acura needs a wider selection of products, Lai says. The brand offers models in five market segments. Lai complains the brand is "not even considering a hybrid."
Conrad says Acura will launch a "new or reskinned" vehicle every year for the "foreseeable future." He declined to discuss which segments Acura plans to enter.

Acura must offer vehicles in higher-priced segments if it wants to be considered a Tier 1 luxury brand, says Tom Libby, senior director of industry analysis at J.D. Power and Associates.

Such vehicles would "contribute to the reputation for luxury," Libby says. Acura especially needs to compete in the segment that includes the Mercedes E class, BMW 5 series, Audi A6, and Infiniti M series, he says.
A replacement for Acura's most expensive model, the $46,000 Acura RL, is due in 2010. Dealers say Acura must offer buyers a V-8 engine as an option if the car is to be considered Tier 1.

"To elevate the brand, they gotta have it," says Mark McKellop, general manager of Acura of Mission Viejo in suburban Los Angeles.

In April, Acura told U.S. dealers that the brand plans to bring out a V-8 within 18 months. In October, Honda Motor CEO Takeo Fukui said that Acura would offer a V-8, but he did not suggest a timetable.

Acura has formed a 25-person team of executives to define how it will achieve Tier 1 luxury status. John Mendel, executive vice president of automobile operations at American Honda, heads the team.

Conrad says the brand is forming Acura University, which will offer personal and online training for dealership sales, service, and finance employees.

Acura also is showing dealers a computer simulation of what it wants its dealerships to look like, Conrad says. Among the features the brand seeks: larger and fancier facilities for sales, service, vehicle delivery, and customer reception. A few Acura dealerships, such as Conant's upgraded store, already reflect that vision.

Conrad declined to discuss how much Acura expects its dealers to spend to improve their stores. He concedes dealers are likely to resist spending demands in a down market. But he says: "We are going to ask them to invest just as we are investing."

Too far too fast?
Some dealers warn Acura against trying to step up in class too quickly.

"They immediately say they want to be like BMW, like Mercedes, like Lexus," says John Hawkins, president of Great Metro Autogroup, a suburban Los Angeles dealership group that includes an Acura store. Instead, Hawkins says, Acura should aim first to "compare themselves with Infiniti and Audi."

Hawkins also calls Acura's management too "process-driven," lacking "bold, imaginative" leadership.
"There's not a Bob Lutz over there," he says. "There's not a Jim Press."

DCH's Lai offers a more measured appraisal of Acura executives.

"This will not be a smooth road," he says. "But at least they are headed in the right direction."
(Source: Automotive News)
1111111
AVANTI R5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2008, 02:16 PM   #2
302@12psi
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 88758
Join Date: Jun 2005
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: MAIC
Vehicle:
2000 Civic
2010 Xterra

Default

I say keep the RL as their "top dog contender" and be content with being a leader in the entry level industry.

Add more AWD/RWD cars into the class and be happy along side of Infiniti.
302@12psi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2008, 02:24 PM   #3
Mike Wevrick
RIP 1/19/64 - 7/23/11
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 24654
Join Date: Sep 2002
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: saraseager.com
Vehicle:
1957 Taggart Comet
atlasshruggedpart1.com

Default

Quote:
Acura must offer vehicles in higher-priced segments if it wants to be considered a Tier 1 luxury brand, says Tom Libby, senior director of industry analysis at J.D. Power and Associates.
Agree. I don't even see Acura as comparable to Infiniti and Audi, more like Saab or Volvo. Look at Mercedes; their reputation is based on cars like the S550 even though that's not what sells the most. Lexus only got respect as a luxury brand when they came out with the LS, which was designed to compete with the S-class.
Mike Wevrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2008, 04:37 PM   #4
Scrotus
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 167465
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Oregon
Vehicle:
2006 STI
2006 Legacy 2.5i

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick View Post
Lexus only got respect as a luxury brand when they came out with the LS, which was designed to compete with the S-class.
Huh? Lexus did not exist before they came out with the LS -- that was their first car, the 1989 LS400.
Scrotus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2008, 09:18 AM   #5
Mike Wevrick
RIP 1/19/64 - 7/23/11
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 24654
Join Date: Sep 2002
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: saraseager.com
Vehicle:
1957 Taggart Comet
atlasshruggedpart1.com

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrotus View Post
Huh? Lexus did not exist before they came out with the LS -- that was their first car, the 1989 LS400.
My bad. My point was just that a "luxury" brand needs to have a high-end flagship car not just lower and mid-range cars that are rebadges of their mainstream brand.
Mike Wevrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2008, 02:28 PM   #6
STi-MAN
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 70252
Join Date: Sep 2004
Vehicle:
05 STI
blue

Default

they always say this... and when will the deliver
STi-MAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2008, 02:37 PM   #7
Spenk
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 7164
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Arizona Bay
Vehicle:
2000 Miata LS
Evo Orange Mica (1/644)

Default

Acura will always be a nice stop on the way from Honda to Infiniti. Nothing more.
Spenk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2008, 05:36 PM   #8
Derbagger
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 32113
Join Date: Jan 2003
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Trollhatten, Japan
Vehicle:
05 Saabaru
Satin Grey

Default

hmm, Infiniti took off when they stopped selling tarted up Nissans. Maybe Acura should do the same.

This guy shows his disillusion when he describes the TL as a "compact" sedan (its not) and the starting price of 35k with FWD is out of line. There's not enough to separate it from the Accord, until you hit the VERY pricey AWD.
Derbagger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2008, 06:05 PM   #9
Skunkers
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 115480
Join Date: May 2006
Location: St. Pete, FL
Vehicle:
2002 RSX-S
Desert Silver

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbagger View Post
This guy shows his disillusion when he describes the TL as a "compact" sedan (its not) and the starting price of 35k with FWD is out of line. There's not enough to separate it from the Accord, until you hit the VERY pricey AWD.
I take it the $36K 211hp FWD Audi A4 really gets your goat then, eh?
Skunkers is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2008, 10:24 PM   #10
Scooby-Doode
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 28976
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: New York
Vehicle:
2007 Twin Turbo
Spoolin'

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunkers View Post
I take it the $36K 211hp FWD Audi A4 really gets your goat then, eh?
lol. sometimes the truth hurts. but you gotta admit the audi looks a lot better than the bottle opener the tl has become
Scooby-Doode is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2008, 11:41 PM   #11
Hites
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 138997
Join Date: Jan 2007
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Belle Center, OH
Vehicle:
0000 Nothing

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby-Doode View Post
lol. sometimes the truth hurts. but you gotta admit the audi looks a lot better than the bottle opener the tl has become
thank you for finally providing me with a descriptive name for that front end.
idk about you guys, but id snag up a previous gen type s in a heartbeat.


Hites is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2008, 09:10 AM   #12
john_knoxville
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 109568
Join Date: Mar 2006
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hites View Post
idk about you guys, but id snag up a previous gen type s in a heartbeat.
that makes one of us
john_knoxville is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2008, 11:02 PM   #13
Len
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 39937
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Vehicle:
2011 328i 6MT
LMB

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunkers View Post
I take it the $36K 211hp FWD Audi A4 really gets your goat then, eh?

And where can I find such a car at www.audiusa.com?
Len is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2008, 11:21 PM   #14
Derbagger
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 32113
Join Date: Jan 2003
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Trollhatten, Japan
Vehicle:
05 Saabaru
Satin Grey

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunkers View Post
I take it the $36K 211hp FWD Audi A4 really gets your goat then, eh?
The A4 starts at 32.7k WITH awd. different size and different prospective buyer imho.
Derbagger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2009, 04:11 PM   #15
Skunkers
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 115480
Join Date: May 2006
Location: St. Pete, FL
Vehicle:
2002 RSX-S
Desert Silver

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbagger View Post
The A4 starts at 32.7k WITH awd. different size and different prospective buyer imho.
No, it starts at $31K with FWD. And the Premium Plus 211hp FWD model with DSG starts at $35K. And it's comparable in size with the A4, last I looked.
Skunkers is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2008, 09:36 AM   #16
neko
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 46500
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Idaho
Vehicle:
'04 FXT & '98 L

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbagger View Post
hmm, Infiniti took off when they stopped selling tarted up Nissans...
Oh? is that why they still sell a barely distinguisable QX? Oops, I mean, Armada with fake wood...

Tho i do agree, the Infiniti Z has always looked better than the Nissan Z. And maybe when it finally gets AWD as an option, i might consider one.

However, i would rather have an Acura anyday, over an Infiniti, Audi, Mercedes, etc. Honda built reliability trumps any crap from Euro brands. And the American public knows it. Why do you think the NSX ever even sold when its was so underpowered compared to other $80k exotics. Because It was an exotic car that you didn't have to take to the dealer every 10k miles for a $5000 timing belt change or valve adjustment. You bought it, drove it, and just enjoyed it. Outside of your garage...

Dropping the Integra/Accord copies (former RSX/current TSX)? With a lot of luxury brands, those cheap low-end cars are their best sellers. I see ten-fold the number of 3-series, A4's, and C230's on the road than i ever see of their big-sticker brethern.

Acura just needs to make sure their high-end will hold up against some the of the high-end of these other luxry companies. It's time for an AWD, 400hp+ V8-powered, Luxury sports sedan. Get on it Acura. Even Toyota already builds Lexus IS-F's and 460LSh (and god are they posh... )

Acura has been doing a darn good job in all honesty. How many A4's or 325's do i see every day? Not as many as i do Integras... And I see far more RL's than I do 750iL's and A8's.

Course, i don't live in anywhere near any ultra-richy-snobby-stupid-a$$-loser-enclaves where if your hummer doesn't have 29's and real baby-seal-skin inside, you're just a wanna-be. And i prefer to keep it that way.
neko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2008, 05:22 PM   #17
bal00
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 54772
Join Date: Feb 2004
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by neko View Post
Acura has been doing a darn good job in all honesty. How many A4's or 325's do i see every day? Not as many as i do Integras... And I see far more RL's than I do 750iL's and A8's.
You're comparing cars from different classes. The RL doesn't compete with the 7-series and the Integra is not a 3-series competitor.
bal00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2008, 11:21 PM   #18
neko
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 46500
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Idaho
Vehicle:
'04 FXT & '98 L

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bal00 View Post
You're comparing cars from different classes. The RL doesn't compete with the 7-series and the Integra is not a 3-series competitor.
It's not? Integra = Acura's cheapest car. 3-series, for a string of many many years (up until the arrival of the 1 series) = BMW's cheapest model of car.

However, you're right. The Integra will not stand up to a the likes of a 318 or 325...

It will demolish it. In fuel economy. In performance. In longevity. In quality of build. In satisfied owners. In resale values. Need i go on?

Sorry. My apology.
neko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2008, 05:31 AM   #19
bal00
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 54772
Join Date: Feb 2004
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by neko View Post
It's not? Integra = Acura's cheapest car. 3-series, for a string of many many years (up until the arrival of the 1 series) = BMW's cheapest model of car.
That doesn't matter. The Continental GT is Bentleys cheapest car, but that doesn't mean it competes with Integras.

The Integra is comparable to the Jetta, not the 3-series.
bal00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2008, 05:19 PM   #20
ghibli99
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 90761
Join Date: Jul 2005
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Phoenix
Vehicle:
2003 S2000
Save the Manuals!

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by neko View Post
It's not? Integra = Acura's cheapest car. 3-series, for a string of many many years (up until the arrival of the 1 series) = BMW's cheapest model of car.

However, you're right. The Integra will not stand up to a the likes of a 318 or 325...

It will demolish it. In fuel economy. In performance. In longevity. In quality of build. In satisfied owners. In resale values. Need i go on?

Sorry. My apology.
Acura themselves said in the early 2000s that the TSX was their 3 Series fighter, not the Integra. In all those years, I never saw the Integra as being a luxury brand competitor... just a step up in the Honda path if you were into car modding.

-Mike
ghibli99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2008, 11:28 PM   #21
Derbagger
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 32113
Join Date: Jan 2003
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Trollhatten, Japan
Vehicle:
05 Saabaru
Satin Grey

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by neko View Post
Oh? is that why they still sell a barely distinguisable QX? Oops, I mean, Armada with fake wood...
I allow one model for $$ cow sake. I was more talking about the G,M,FX,EX cars.

And, while you can say the G is a tarted up Z, it's really more the other way round. This is evident in the platform being developed to run the SUV, making it a portly 2-seater. In comparison, Acura is a Euro accord, a nice Civic, a nice Accord, a really nice accord, and a nice Pilot. The product differentiation isn't enough to warrant the $$, even with some really sweet interiors and sound systems.
Derbagger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2008, 09:00 PM   #22
Hites
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 138997
Join Date: Jan 2007
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Belle Center, OH
Vehicle:
0000 Nothing

Default

they goin after maybach again?
Hites is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2008, 09:12 PM   #23
Ghosthound
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 110979
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sacramento, Ca
Vehicle:
2010 FJ Cruiser
1999 Miata

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by STi-MAN View Post
they always say this... and when will the deliver
yeah i actually thought someone bumped an old thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hites View Post
they goin after maybach again?
haha i guess they set their sights a lot lower this time. more realistic, but still not possible given the vehicles they are selling.

I honestly think Hyundai took a closer step toward Tier 1 luxury vehicles with the Genesis than Acura ever has with any of their cars. I saw a Genesis driving around from a distance and it actually gives off the image of a true luxury vehicle.

When i see an acura driving around... the only feeling i get is boredom.
Ghosthound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 07:45 AM   #24
bal00
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 54772
Join Date: Feb 2004
Default

A good press release from a car manufacturer typically contains the words engine, mph, mpg, aluminum and injection. A bad press release typically contains the words campaign, strategy, refocus, tier and identity.

Seriously, does Acura employ anyone that's not a marketing person except for the janitor? Tag lines, corporate identity, campaigns...blah blah blah. Mercedes and BMW didn't get to where they are by holding PowerPoint presentations.
bal00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 01:27 PM   #25
ghibli99
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 90761
Join Date: Jul 2005
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Phoenix
Vehicle:
2003 S2000
Save the Manuals!

Default

Ugh. I swear, every time I click on an Acura topic about being a better competitor in the luxury segment, I end up doing a facepalm. This one's no different. It's more about a dealership surrounding the current crop of Acura vehicles in prettier clothing (stupid), or talking about wanting to be better competitors with Tier 1s, but offering up no real good plans on how they want to get there. Sharp marketing can help (I love Target's advertising, for example, which blends style with value), but at this point, is anyone listening?

The angular cuts and overdone styling cues on many of the current Acuras are just complete turn-offs to me. There's nothing that exudes luxury. I constantly get the RDX and the latest MDX confused, and the dated, bubbly RL has never said "flagship" to me. The new TL and TSX have been polarizing to fans and potential buyers, and compete more with their Honda siblings than with other brands.

Infiniti's entry-level cars already have more power than Acura's mid-level TL. I think the TSX waters down the brand, and everyone knows it's just a rebadged Accord (hell, I wish it *were* an Accord instead of the bloated tanks we have now). People felt the same way with the Infiniti G20 back in the day, where it was seen (rightfully so) as an overpriced Sentra. I say dump the TSX, and make the TL line a better car than the G. Offer the coupe and sedan variants to reel back in those who left after the Integra went away. RL also needs to be as good, if not better than the M in every way. *Then* you're in a better position to compete with the likes of Lexus. Yeah, they're right... it won't happen overnight, but that argument only holds so much water when you see Hyundai already poised to make that jump.

As an aside, I've never felt so much pressure to buy as I did when I was at Keyes Acura in Van Nuys, CA. It's nearly made me swear off the brand completely.

-Mike
ghibli99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Acura betting on new 400-hp luxury sedan and coupe to compete with Tier 1 brands AVANTI R5 Non-Subaru News & Rumors 25 08-20-2008 04:22 AM
Big league chew Wraith Interior & Exterior Modification 10 08-25-2004 08:24 PM
Itshappening.com- the big leagues semabe Off-Topic 0 05-13-2004 06:50 PM
Big League Chew FunkerVogt Off-Topic 21 06-02-2003 03:50 PM
Patrick Richard goes to the big leagues! Penphoe Vancouver Impreza Club Forum -- VIC 17 02-18-2003 05:24 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2014 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2014, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.