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Acura Looks At Niche Models to Increase the Brand's Profile

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Through August of this year Acura’s sales are down 7.8 percent. The new MDX and RDX are doing well for the automaker, but its car models are where the improvement is needed.

in order to increase the brand’s profile, Acura executives are discussing the idea of bringing back the CL coupe and possibly introducing a hardtop convertible as well.

According to critics most of Acura’s problems have to do with the fact that the automaker does not offer a V8 and to some extent a rear-wheel-drive model. Acura’s current flagship sedan the RL only offers a V6 powertrain with all-wheel-drive standard. Only 5,000 RL’s have managed to leave dealer lots so far this year.

Supposedly the upcoming Acura NSX supercar is going to be powered by a V10 engine, which could eventually work its way into other Acura vehicles. There has also been rumors that Acura is working on a V8 for the next RL. Critics also feel that Acura needs a flagship sedan that is above the RL that would offer rear-wheel-drive and a V8 powertrain.

According to John Mendel, Executive VP at American Honda “As a brand, Acura is not there yet. The next three to four years will be important as we develop a clear message.”

2008 is going to be a hard year for Acura as dealers have to wait til 2009 for new versions of the TSX and TL sedans.

Full Story: Winding Road

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