Honda’s premium division admits its sedans are not at the required level and a further development in this direction is the right path for the brand.
Acura’s models have always had ups and downs in terms of success, but Honda’s luxury division does not intend to change its identity or to reinvent itself for the sake of its image, like other brands have. “They’re going to do it the way they need to do it strategically, and it’s certainly not going to change our strategy,” John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda told Automotive News at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Unlike Hyundai, who came up with the Genesis premium marque in an attempt of changing the perceptions, Acura’s plan is more straightforward. It needs to focus and to promote the strong points of its crossovers, while improving what needs to be fixed on the company’s sedans, Mendel admitted. Even if Acura’s dealers badly want more luxury low-volume models for competing with rivals like Lexus, Honda’s division needs to keep its focus on what is the most important factor, to offer a good mainstream lineup based on which it can generate more volume. “I tell them, ‘If you had three sedans that sold what Civic and Accord and CR-V sold every month, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” Mendel said.
Acura General Manager Jon Ikeda also said sedans are in the center of the company’s future strategy, and it is very likely this path will be visible as early as next January, at the Detroit Auto Show. “We’ve struggled, candidly, with sedans,” Mendel said. Though the recent success of the TLX has been encouraging, he said, the flagship RLX needs fixing. 3,413 RLXs were sold in 2014, and sales this year are going down by 35 percent through October. These big luxury sedans do not usually bring large volumes to a carmaker, but they represent an important segment which defines a brand.
Via Automotive News