Acura Changes Direction...No Longer Shooting for a Tier 1 Luxury Brand
Acura has been trying to change its portfolio to become more of a Tier 1 luxury brand, but it looks like those plans have changed. Acura had been working on developing new high-performance vehicles and its first V8 engine, but those plans have been canceled.
There is "a certain level of confusion" about Acura in the marketplace, Honda Motor Co. CEO Takanobu Ito told Automotive News at the Tokyo auto show. "We are in the midst of big changes. We've changed the direction of research and development."
Prior to the collapse of the economy Acura had plans to finally match the other top tier luxury brands with its first V8 engine and rear-wheel-drive, but those plans have been scrapped sending engineers back to the drawing board.
Instead of focusing on going head to head with brands like BMW, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito stated, "I see the future of Acura as a merger of BMW and Audi--something between high technology and high performance." Eighteen months ago Acura dealers were promised five new models, but as a result of the changes Acura will be in a "low-growth period of developing new products."
"We were thinking that we could come up with glamorous, gorgeous products that would sell. Now, our premium products will be expressed in advanced environmental technologies, rather than glamorous things attached to the product," Ito said.