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Where is Honda taking Acura?

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Comments

  • danilodanilo Posts: 69
    Had to say it :shades:
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    I don't now how else to put this. I drove every thing under the sun in this segment including some that weren't back in 05- the IS was not yet available.
    Glad to see you have had postive experiences with BMW. I, on the other hand along with my wife, family and a couple of friends dreaded every single problem we had with ours. They were all great "driving" machines but service nightmares.

    Acura needs to be a luxury automaker not a near luxury automaker and stay away from being labeled "value." In order to do so, Acura needs to step up to the plate with all of its offerings.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    A V8 would do nothing to RL, unless there were other necessary changes made to the car to go with it. The way I see it, taking GS430 off the market would probably not even show on Lexus' bottomline. Very few people buy one of those, it is the V6 that carries the sales.

    RL's weakness is not in the engine, it is in the transmission, size and styling. If it were just a RWD car, perhaps the impact of transmission would not be as big since then it would be about 250 lb lighter and the tallishness of the gear ratios would not be as pronounced.

    I vote for RWD platform for TL (and RL) for good reasons... cost and weight that SH-AWD adds. With RWD platform, both can be avoided to a good extent.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    The point was... don't assume that a person driving a BMW is spending more than one that is driving an Acura. Acura might have a lower price tag, but usually BMW offers lease incentives.

    The other point was, Audi and Infiniti don't have the prestige factor either. In my experience, people tend to recognize MB, BMW, Lexus and Jaguar far more than any of the other brands. Among US brands, Cadillac gets the nod. Lincoln is lost.
  • danilodanilo Posts: 69
    Don't mistake value for cheap. I believe Acura is a luxury automaker. When they package the cars like they do having them come factory loaded, it does several things.
    1. The cars are actually cheaper to build rather than a la carte(all cars come with leather, xenon,heated seats, etc.)
    2. cheaper to build means cheaper for us(we like all the gizmo's)
    3. resale is more uniform(you won't get caught if you load up on options, none to load up on) except nav.
    this makes Acura a great "value" not a value car like a sentra, a value car like an Acura which gives you a great product for a great price :)

    Too bad you had issues with your old BMW, I have not had an issue but am aware of the media.
  • danilodanilo Posts: 69
    I try not to assume. I never said anything about leasing, but leases are primarily based on resale projections.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Not necessarily. There are residuals and then there are lease incentives. BMW has been said to lead the pack of automakers with the latter (with an average of $4K/vehicle) while most would typically assume it were GM or Ford or DCX who were laden with incentives.

    And lease is a huge part of success especially in the premium brands. If I had to guess, most of the sales in $30K to $60K might be just that... leases.
  • danilodanilo Posts: 69
    Actually, All leases are derrived from resale values. While incentives are out there and I would agree they are out there, I do not see a "great lease" for BMW or any other premium brand which is that cheap. $389 for a basic 3-er is not a deal in my eyes. Load it up and watch the price rise, add more that 10K in mile and the price again goes up so apples to apples the price is still more unles I am missing something :confuse:
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    ..model and price compression.

    I am a fan of Acura and own two - 2004 TL6-speed and 2005 MDX.

    But if I were advising the company from a strategic planning and marketing standpoint, I would agree with those here that have suggested they need to move the RL up the scale and create more meaningful model distinctions. As evidence, look at how narrow Acura's price ranges are compared to BMW and Lexus (approximate MSRP's):

    Acura:
    TSX - $28k - $31k
    TL/TL-S - $34k - $39k
    RL - $46k - $52k

    Lexus:
    ES - $33.5k
    GS - $44k - $55k
    LS - $61k - $71k

    BMW
    3 - $32k - $48k (n/i M3)
    5 - $45k - $65k (n/i M5)
    7 - $75k - $120k

    In the case of Acura, their "flagship" RL thanks to heavy price discounts, is barely 25% more expensive than their TL, which is only a few thousand more than the TSX.

    BMW and Lexus aren't affraid to sell "premium" cars 2-3 times the price of their entry level cars.

    IMHO, expressed numerous times in other forums, everybody has their wannabe 3-series fighter, but no one really has a car that competes with the 550i sport for the enthusiast. Period. I agree with those that believe this represents one of the better market opportunites for Acura to revise it's RL towards. V8 option, RWD (lighter) option, Sport suspension (or better yet, adjustable PASM type) option, 6 speed manual and 6-speed DSG transmission options. Plus, put those exceptional Honda S2000 engineers to work in upgrading the driving dynamics.

    And yes, danilo, I do think Acura could charge $55-$60k for that car, predicated on it having the same luxury and build quality of the current model, but performance and driving dynamics that gives serious competition to the 550i 6-speed. For which, right now, there isn't any. And it's right at $65k fully equiped.

    BMW has more price variation in their 5 series alone than Acura has in it's entire sedan model line-up. The TSX is the entry level and should remain there. The TL is the mide level, and is fairly well positioned, but the RL is a lost cause of a flagship.
  • danilodanilo Posts: 69
    Well, that I will have to agree on. The RL did fall quite short but I would think with the approach you are speaking of, Acura could demand such monies and get it!
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "IMHO, expressed numerous times in other forums, everybody has their wannabe 3-series fighter, but no one really has a car that competes with the 550i sport for the enthusiast."

    Wannabe 3 Series fighter? The Infinti G35 beat the 3 Series in a car and drive comparo a few years ago along with some other cars including the TL. The current generation TL finbished 3rd to the G35 and 3 Series. I think the comparo was in a 2004 or 2005 issue of car and drivier. I know the G35 was a 4-5 year old newer than the 3 Series at the time of the comparo but the G35 still beat the 3 Series.

    As for for the 5 Series one magazine didn't like it and placed it 3rd in a comparo behind the Acura RL which finished 2nd in that comparo.

    I'm not hating on BMW its just that the I-Drive is just not liked and the G-35 caught up with the 3 Series in terms of drivability.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "The RL flopped due to perceived lack of value. Great car just not a great value(again the sales tell the story). Got to be realistic in the price."

    I thought Honda was looking(from what I read a while ago) at putting out the current RL with a lower trim version for the US market. Whatever happened to that idea? As for the RL"s current value maybe if Honda priced at 45K when it first came out I think it would have sold better. Even as a honda fan I was saying to myself 50K for an RL when it first saw the articles on the internet for its release. I was thinking that car should be priced around maybe 42K-45K.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "And yes, danilo, I do think Acura could charge $55-$60k for that car, predicated on it having the same luxury and build quality of the current model, but performance and driving dynamics that gives serious competition to the 550i 6-speed. For which, right now, there isn't any. And it's right at $65k fully equiped."

    Wait... which Acura should they charge 55-60K for the TL or the RL?
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    I'm almost positive that habitat meant the RL for 55-60k.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Sorry. I proposed a thread topic, then disappeared for a long weekend.

    Ditto what you say about the NSX nameplate. I think the ASC may work as a brand new halo car for Acura, but should not be linked with the NSX. That said, I understand that Acura PR people have nothing else to draw on.

    "I am wondering if it ties in anyway to any of Honda’s major racing efforts (F1, IRL and now, ALMS)."

    Well... now you're getting us into murky waters. Should "Acura" be associated with the racing efforts of "Honda"? I mean, here they are spending lots of time and money trying to convince people that Acuras are something more than gussied up Hondas. Does it make sense to then link the two companies at the halo car level?

    Also, what does a MR car with a V10 engine have in common with the Acura line-up? Nothing. All their cars are FF with V6s. With the NSX, they were able to usher awareness of VTEC. With this GT, they can promote SH-AWD.

    "NSX may not have broken sales record, but that wasn’t the point of the car. It had a mission and came out in flying colors."

    Yes and no. A halo car doesn't need to set sales records, but it does need to be seen on the street every now and then. I remember each time I've seen a Lambo, Ferrari, and NSX. I haven't seen an NSX on the street since 1998, or so. The more cars you have on the street, the more chances it has to create those memories. You can fell the biggest tree in the forest, but if there's nobody there to hear it...

    And, lastly, I agree. I doubt we'll see both a super GT and a full-blown exotic in the Acura stable.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Yes, the G35 beat the 3 Series in a C&D comparo. But the TL-S just beat the brand new G35 Sport in a comparo which also featured the new IS. For that matter, the RL has beaten both the M35 and GS350 and both of them have in turn beaten the RL in some other magazine's head-to-head.

    I just don't think you can use magazine rankings as support for an argument unless they are consistent on the matter. Even when they are consistent, it takes a while for public perception to catch up.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I think that really tells us how close are these sports sedans in terms of quality, performance and refinement these days. Even though BMW is still considering as the benchmark of sports sedans but it is no longer untouchable like it was 10 years ago.

    Kudos to Acura, Infiniti and Lexus but no cigars yet.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Let's keep something in mind here... Dethroning any vehicle from the top of the heap is simply one method for gaining sales. Being named "best car ever" means having plaque on the wall. Have fun looking at the plaque. It is meaningless if that award doesn't translate into sales.

    Sure, Acura execs would love to have that plaque on the wall. They probably dream about having BMW's reputation.

    On the other hand, you can bet the boys at BMW stay awake at night wondering about Acura. I mean, BMW offers engine options, coupes, convertibles, wagons, faux leather, real leather, RWD, AWD, optional tires, sport packages, and super-duper M variants. They work hard for the plaque. Meanwhile, the TL calmly matches BMW "best car ever" sale for sale with a car that's FWD and comes with one option. And it looks easy.
  • danilodanilo Posts: 69
    Are you speaking of sales asn number of cars sold? :confuse:
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    As in "the name of the game". Yes.

    Some years, the 3 series sells more than the TL. Other years, the TL sells more copies than the 3. For the past several years, the two have been a fair match.
  • danilodanilo Posts: 69
    Yes the i-drive is not liked mostly due to them not understanding the idea. All controls on one button. It really is a great idea and easy once you get used to it. It is interesting the masses still try to say their car is "better or as good as" the 3. Reality is if you drive the 3 around it is just so darn fun. You get excited. The G35, while a nice car as is the TL are both not as balanced a vehicle. Front to rear weight ratios. This is why the TSX actually handles better than the TL as some earlier posts said. That being said, there is a lot more to a car than 0-60 times and when you combine all the aspects of the driving experience the 3 still seems to come out on top. And then there's the 5 and the 7 and the Z4, and a new Z9 comming out so BMW is looking at a totally different segment of buyers
  • danilodanilo Posts: 69
    Acura's market is different than BMW's in that Acura is seeking the upper mass market while BMW seeks the upper market. While the markets are indeed close, There are BMW's that are well over a hundred grand. You will not see Acura in that market any time soon. The 3 is the entry base for BMW and still demands monies reaching into the fifties and that is the RL's price. The kicker is people are more than willing to spend it. So there has got to be something which makes these cars so desirable
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I see no reason why they shouldn’t be. The amusing thing about Acura and Honda is that a surprising number of people don’t seem to know that Acura vehicles are actually manufactured by Honda. I have been coming across more of them since bringing home a TL. I think Acura should stop convincing people if they are trying to, if they are trying to do so, instead take advantage of a respected brand that is Honda. Although, they must also address the wants people have at premium prices and clearly, simply adding features (and sometimes not doing it right) doesn’t help.

    Acura’s first racing effort, after all, is powered by a 3.4-liter V8 developed by “Honda” Performance Development for ALMS. A mid engine performance car with a V8 would have represented that effort in ALMS better than the AASC would representing the rest of the Acura lineup (or the racing effort) as it stands now. Unless, the new Acura lineup involves technology and performance criteria set by the GT coupe. Besides, a mid-engine performance coupe - the next NSX would have helped Acura grow on an established foundation.

    While most may be unaware of NSX, enthusiasts did take notice. I am reminded of a reference to NSX (by Car and Driver? from 3-4 years ago). During their review of Mosler MT900, of all the cars and there has to be a good reason for it, the reviewers commented on how the car reminded them of the NSX (in a very good way). Well, THAT is an accomplishment. Regardless of whether a person reading it is aware of NSX or not, can afford it or not, it does make an impression. The reviewers could have as well mentioned F360 Modena, but they chose NSX.

    NSX was special. Too bad it was left virtually as is for 15 years. Well, even though Accord was the best selling car in America in 1991, I don’t think Honda would be selling very many of those 15 years later without major update. They just forgot the NSX for that long!

    I go agree on the potential GT coupe as being a candidate for promoting SH-AWD, but I don't think it was necessary. Acura could have done that with an all-out performance oriented RL, instead of preparing a candidate for "Battle of the Heavyweights" (and I mean that literally). I just hope the luxury "sports car" from Acura doesn't tip the scale at about 4000 lb like the Ferrari Scaglietti or the Aston Martin do.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "This is why the TSX actually handles better than the TL as some earlier posts said."

    The earlier poster was mistaken. Both the base TL and TSX have a 61/39 weight distribution... Give or take a fraction of a percent.

    Frankly, there are many engineering decisions which factor into any given car's performance. Spec racing them will only get you so far. You're better off comparing the results than the details.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Yes, there are many who do not know that Acura and Honda are linked. But there are also many who do.

    "Besides, a mid-engine performance coupe - the next NSX would have helped Acura grow on an established foundation."

    In the words of a respected designer... "I never look back, darling. It detracts from the now."

    To my recollection, the NSX got kicked off the island by a GT with a V10 engine mounted up front and a nameplate spelling "Viper".

    Some would argue that the S2000 was upstaged by a hefty, GT-like coupe with a torquey V6 up front and a Nissan badge.

    Personally, I wouldn't blame Acura if they took a page from that book. The ASC looks like a car that reflects their design direction and competes in a market where they have a chance of winning. How many times would you have them toss money at purist sports cars when those never seem to work out?
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    I bet the 09' NSX is over $100K ;)

    Rocky
  • danilodanilo Posts: 69
    What would that compete with? The new Z9 maybe? It looks to be a screamer.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    In the words of a respected designer... "I never look back, darling. It detracts from the now."

    That doesn't make sense to me at all. This could even imply that the designer doesn't want to learn from the mistakes of the past.

    If that were to be true, we couldn't relate Honda S2000 to Honda S500/S600/S800, and we all know better.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "To my recollection, the NSX got kicked off the island by a GT with a V10 engine mounted up front and a nameplate spelling "Viper".

    Some would argue that the S2000 was upstaged by a hefty, GT-like coupe with a torquey V6 up front and a Nissan badge.

    Personally, I wouldn't blame Acura if they took a page from that book. The ASC looks like a car that reflects their design direction and competes in a market where they have a chance of winning. How many times would you have them toss money at purist sports cars when those never seem to work out?"


    Sorry, I have to disagree with you. I do agree that Acura let the NSX die a rather undignified death by not revising and refining it over the years. But it was the ONLY Japanese sports car that would have ever made someone shopping Ferrari and Porsche give it consideration. I didn't have that alternative to consider when I bought a 911S in 2005, but the Viper wouldn't have been of interest had Dodge priced it competitively with the S2000.

    As for the S2000, when I bought a 2002 in November 2001, the Edmunds "TMV" was $36,800. That's $4,000 over MSRP a full 2 years after the car was introduced. The ONLY cars that have sold at a premium to MSRP longer than the S2000 are Ferrari's. Yes, over the last couple of years, the S2000 has faded the way of the NSX. It's still a better roadster than the base Boxster at $50k, but Honda has done nothing to promote or refine it. But, the 350Z is a spare parts project that could be bought at near invoice within 12 months of introduction.

    "Purist" sports cars do work out. Just as nothing from Japan competes with the 550i 6-speed, nothing from Japan currently competes with Porsche or Ferrari. And thier profitability per car is just a tad higher than Chryslers or Nissans. IMO, Acura has the technology and engineering know how to take on these market opportunities. Whether it chooses to do so, will be seen. But I sure as hell hope they don't ever look at the Viper or 350Z as something to aspire towards. That would be a giant step backwards. A cop out to the NASCAR beer-gut mass market when they could be gaining the respect and loyalty of the Formula One demographic.
  • danilodanilo Posts: 69
    The NSX simply was not the focus back then. Now it appears to be comming back with a vengeance. The futuristic look is nice but it will take more than looks to be a success. I anticipate Acura knows this all to well to have waited so long to release their new beast. One would think the NSX and it's innovative technology will no doubt trickle down to the RL and TL. The SH-AWD is rumored to be flipped sending 70% to rear. Put this in the RL along with a V8 (with some suspension upgrades) and watch the RL sales soar. Any know what the price is rumored to be?
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