Acura

The distinction of being the first Japanese automotive luxury brand, Acura is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Honda. The brand was launched in the United States and Canada in March 1986, marketing luxury, performance, and high-performance vehicles. It was introduced to Hong Kong in 1991, Mexico in 2004, China in 2006, and Russia in 2014. Honda’s plan to introduce Acura to the Japanese domestic market (JDM) in 2008 was delayed, due to economic reasons, and later withheld as a result of the 2008 financial crisis.

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Industry Automotive
Headquarters Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Founded June 16, 1903
Founder Soichiro Honda
Parent Honda
Key people Michael Accavitti (Senior VP and General Manager); Erik Berkman (Executive VP, Acura Business Planning Office)
Products Luxury Cars
www.acura.com

Acura was among the best-selling luxury marques in the US.The success of the company’s first flagship vehicle, the Legend, inspired fellow Japanese automakers Toyota and Nissanto launch their own luxury brands, Lexus and Infiniti,respectively.

History

1980s
Honda opened 60 new dealerships in North America by 1986, to support its Acura automobile division. Acura was the first Japanese luxury brand, introduced under the slogan, “Acura. Precision Crafted Performance.“.
Its initial offering consisted of two models:

  • the executive class Legend
  • compact class Integra

The Legend was the result of Project XX, a joint venture Honda entered into with the UK’s Austin Rover Group. It was mechanically related to the Rover 800 series, while the Integra was an improvement of the Honda Quint hatchback.In the late 1990s Mazda planned but never launched its own Amati luxury division.

The goal of the Legend was to compete with rivals Toyota Crown and the Nissan Cedric and Gloria, but due to its 1986 introduction worldwide, Toyota, Nissan and other companies like Lincoln took notice of the markets reaction to the Legend and later the Vigor and offered vehicles that addressed the executive size car. Toyota introduced the Lexus ES, Nissan introduced the Infiniti J30 and Ford utilized the Taurus platform and named their new sedan the Lincoln Continental.

1990s
Five years after the debut of the Legend and Integra, Acura introduced the Honda NSX, a midship V6 powered, rear-wheel-drive sports car badged as Acura in certain regions.

  • NSX, an acronym for “New Sports eXperimental“, was billed as the first Japanese car capable of competing with Ferrari and Porsche.
  • This vehicle served as an “image car” for both the Honda and Acura brands, heralding the introduction of Honda’s VTEC technology.
  • The NSX was the world’s first all-aluminum production car, and was also marketed and viewed by some as the “Everyday Supercar”.

Despite a strong start in market acceptance for the Acura brand, sales suffered in the mid-to-late 1990s. Some critics attributed this decline in part to less inspiring designs, which were re-branded Japanese-spec Honda, such as the Acura Vigor in 1992. Additionally, during this time Acura switched to an alphanumeric nomenclature formula, dropping the Legend, Vigor and Integra titles, following the lead of the NSX sportscar.

The parent company, Honda, was also feeling the results of the decline of the Japanese economy, due to the Japanese asset price bubble that took place during the 1990s and into the 2000s. This period is known in Japan as The Lost Decade.

Despite these letdowns, Acura gained prominence in the 1990s with a young group of customers: “tuner” enthusiasts. Parent company Honda’s reputation with this demographic as a maker of “easy-to-tune” and “rev-happy” engines rubbed off onto Acura, and the Integra became a popular tuner car.

2000 - Present
Beginning around the year 2000, Acura experienced a rebirth which was catalyzed by the introduction of several redesigned models. The first of these models was the 1999 Acura 3.2 TL, an upscale sedan. Critics suggested that although 3.2 TL did not outdo its competition in any one area of luxury cars, it offered a well-rounded blend of sportiness and luxury.

Another refreshed Acura introduced in the early 2000s was the MDX, a popular three-row crossover SUV based on the Honda Odyssey minivan. The MDX replaced the slow-selling SLX, which was little more than a rebadged Isuzu Trooper.

In 2013, Acura showed a 2014 Concept of the MDX.The MDX competes with the Lexus RX, Audi Q7, and many others.
For the 2014 model of the RDX. Acura drops color Amber Brownstone which was really popular for Kona Coffee Metallic from the CR-V. The new color is a little darker.

In 2015, Acura redesigned the ILX for the 2016 model year. Now with a 2.4L 8-speed dual clutch transmission(DCT) instead of the 2.0L 5-speed and 2.4L manual. Added is the signature Acura Jewel Eye LED headlights, LED taillights, updated wheels, suspension modifications, bumper redesign, and new packages such as AcuraWatch Package(includes adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation, lane keeping assist system, road departure mitigation, and forward collision warning) and A-Spec(sportier appearance). Replacing the color Fathom Blue is Catalina Blue Pearl.

Acura also has a ‘Mobility Program’ that ensures drivers who are disabled are safe in their vehicles. The program offers cash reimbursement towards the cost of adaptive equipment for disabled drivers.

Brand Reach

*Brand reach indicates the regions/countries in which the brand sells its products or services
America, Canada

Logo

Acura and Honda

The Acura logo, introduced in 1990 for the 1991 model year, is a stylised “A” (for Acura) that can also be interpreted as a skewed “H” (for Honda).

The logo that was originally authorized without approval by Soichiro Honda did not contain the small horizontal bar joining the two vertical pillars—thus, it did not form the letter “H”. Soichiro Honda ordered the 5,000 badges already produced to be destroyed, including prying off the emblems applied to 309 cars already (US-spec Integra, Legend, and NSX models).

Marketing Facts

Acura’s current marketing slogan is “Advance.”[14] Recent models include Technology, Advance, Type-S, and SH-AWD trim levels. Technology and Advance models typically come with the latest hi-tech features such as keyless start and a blind spot information system. Type-S and SH-AWD models are performance-oriented, with a substantial increase in horsepower compared to the lower trim levels. Some models, such as the TL, also combine trim levels (i.e. “SH-AWD with Advance”).

Acura began an association with Marvel Entertainment in 2010, upon release of the film Iron Man 2, which featured a ZDX after the ending credits. On April 20, 2011, Acura and Marvel announced a promotional campaign, making Acura the official brand of Marvel’s fictional S.H.I.E.L.D. organization.

Several Acura models—such as the MDX, ZDX, RL, and TL—appeared in the films Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. In the 2012 film, The Avengers, Iron Man (played by Robert Downey, Jr.) drove an exotic sportscar by Acura, made specifically for the film, rather than the Audi R8 he previously drove. It was rumored that the car spotted during filming was a concept for the second generation NSX, however, a different-looking 2012 Acura NSX Concept was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show, on January 9, 2012.

From 1995 to 2007, Acura sponsored two WTA Tour tennis tournaments, both named the Acura Classic.

In 2012, Acura was the presenting sponsor and official vehicle of the Sundance Film Festival.

Sources: wikipedia;




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Summary

Acura - Precision Crafted Performance was among the best-selling luxury marques in the US.This brand inspired fellow Japanese automakers Toyota and Nissan to launch their own luxury brands.

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