Acura sales have been growing well recently, ahead of the industry rise, which was good news for the brand’s chief – Mike Accavitti. But recently the industry veteran has unexpectedly decided to quit from the Japanese premium brand.
Parent company Honda Motor, the third largest Japanese automaker, had no explanation for the abrupt exit, only saying the executive would be succeeded by Jon Ikeda, a company veteran since 1989 and the chief of US research and development operations. “Jon Ikeda brings tremendous knowledge and talent to Acura,” John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, commented in a statement. “From deep R&D experience with the brand, he has emerged as the ultimate advocate for Acura and has built a record of solid achievement and success.” The respected former brand boss showed no signs of trouble prior to his surprise departure. Actually he had been very visible in recent weeks as he discussed Acura’s rising fortunes.
Acura, one of the three Japanese luxury marquees, had numerous lapses over the past two decades, even as Lexus for example has competed head to head with German automakers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz for leadership of the crucial US luxury market, the largest in the world. Acura saw increased traction now from the most recent launches, the new generations of the MDX and TLX models. The brand’s sales advanced 12 percent over the first six months of the year, which is around twice as fast as the overall US market’s pace. Ikeda, a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, worked for Honda since 1989 and also oversaw the creation of Acura’s separate design studio back in 2007 before becoming the Honda US research and development chief.