I hope you’re OK.
According to leftlanenews.com, Automotive News reports that ‘Rubin Postaer and Associates’ – the ad agency responsible for both the Honda and Acura brands – has given Acura it’s own division. This news comes on the heals of several other changes for Acura. Acura recently opened a dedicated design center in Los Angeles and an R&D center in Japan.
Honda’s first U.S. diesel engine will debut next year on Acura’s redesigned TSX sedan.
At the auto show here, CEO Takeo Fukui announced that Honda Motor Corp.’s new clean diesel will appear first on an Acura. He did not say which vehicle, but Honda sources say it will be the TSX.
The small sedan will be redesigned this spring. Initially, the TSX may be powered by the same turbocharged four-cylinder that is on the RDX small crossover. The diesel will be added in 2009.
“All along, we’ve said there would be a diesel in Acura,” said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. “The whole direction is to separate Acura and Honda more. In five to six years, Acura will be a tier 1 luxury brand. The face of Acura will be totally different.”
Honda’s new 2.2-liter, four-cylinder i-DETC clean diesel will be available on the redesigned Honda Accord in Europe this summer. The European Accord and the TSX are basically the same vehicle.
Honda will introduce a V-6 diesel around 2010. That engine likely will go in the mid-sized Acura TL sedan and the MDX crossover as well as some Honda-brand vehicles.
Acura sales fell 10.5 percent in 2007 to 180,104 units. Colliver expects sales to rise this year to just under 200,000 units.
“We get the TSX in the spring and the new TL in the fall,” he said. “We knew going into 2007 that we were facing tough times because the product line was aging, and there was a lot of new competition. To compete with BMW, we must build cars in those segments. We need more crossovers and an image car.”
Colliver said the top-of-the-line RL sedan, with only 6,262 sales in 2007, “was the wrong car.”
“It is due to be replaced in 2010,” he said. “Directionally, that car will change.” Despite falling sales, Colliver said Acura dealers enjoyed record profits last year, mainly because Honda cut Acura production by 20,000 units to control inventory.
He said Honda dealer profits were up about 4 percent, and Acura dealers “were up more than that.”