Acura Shifts Focus to Sensible Gen Y Shoppers
With the ILX, brand aims to boost '12 U.S. sales 46 percent; by Mark Rechtin, Automotive News
Honda is ready to begin the makeover of its Acura premium brand this spring, and the timing could hardly be better.
Six years ago, Honda Motor Co. executives decided to move Acura upscale and shelve the brand's entry-level luxury offer--the compact RSX hatchback, which was the successor to the Integra. The timing couldn't have been worse.
In less than three years, many of Acura's competitors announced plans to offer products that fit the RSX and Integra's niches. Then the global economy collapsed and many luxury-vehicle buyers pared back their purchases.
In May, Acura will return to the entry-luxury segment with the ILX. The sedan won't remind anyone of the sportiness of the RSX or Integra, but Acura hopes it will appeal to sensible Gen Y customers.
"In less than three years, many of Acura's competitors announced plans to offer products that fit the RSX and Integra's niches. Then the global economy collapsed and many luxury-vehicle buyers pared back their purchases."
Really? What cars did Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Infiniti, and Audi introduce in the United States that fit the RSX/Integra niche?
Maybe you can argue that the BMW 1-series fit the RSX/Integra niche, but the typical price point for a 1-series was a LOT HIGHER.
But, frankly, the one "new" car that came close to filling the Integra's niche was the first generation (2004-08) TSX, which was an ACURA vehicle.
The sedan won't remind anyone of the sportiness of the RSX or Integra, but Acura hopes it will appeal to sensible Gen Y customers.
Wouldn't sensible Gen Y consumers realize that the ILX is a warmed over Civic EX and that they could save thousands with a Civic EX?
Though recently, at the Honda dealer, I did notice a Civic Hybrid with a $30k sticker. So I am not sure of the "save thousands" part myself.
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