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Old 04-04-2013, 10:00 PM
  #41  
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I would add that if you're suggesting 'not working' is referring to building snob appeal, no arguments there. I'm replying under the assumption that 'not working' means it's bad for the company's bottom line.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
I would add that if you're suggesting 'not working' is referring to building snob appeal, no arguments there. I'm replying under the assumption that 'not working' means it's bad for the company's bottom line.
"Not working" to me means building a successful and well received flagship sedan. Something that Acura has been trying to do since they got rid of the Legend.

I guess it would be nice to know what Acura's goals are. They imply that they want to keep up with the tier 1 brands, but their actions say otherwise.

I'm not being critical because as you said, Honda and Acura is successful, but they are sending mixed messages.

If they want to be the "Japanese Volvo" as has been said here before, there's no shame in that.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
Well, to be fair, it's not working for you but it's hard to say it's not working for Acura. Lexus sells 5k-7k ES's per month. If Acura could snipe a few of these looking to move to a larger platform but find the LS too large a jump in price(GS is not roomier). Heck 10-15% would be hundreds of units per month plus the Acura customers moving up/sideways and we might have enough to satisfy their goals. If Acura were to grab a few conquest sales without building a purpose built chassis, who is to say that they're not the smart ones here? (disclaimer: I do not speak for Acura, these are only my opinions)
Who's to say it's not working for me? I was an Acura owner for 19 years and the only reason why I left was because I fell in love with the CTS coupe. If that car hadn't come along I would probably still have my 2006 RL, which I loved.

Nothing wrong with stealing a few sales from Lexus owners looking to move up, but that's not the messaging that seems to be coming from Acura. Unless I am mistaken (which is possible and I'm sure you'll remind me if I am) is that they often bring up BMW in their marketing.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
"Not working" to me means building a successful and well received flagship sedan. Something that Acura has been trying to do since they got rid of the Legend.

I guess it would be nice to know what Acura's goals are. They imply that they want to keep up with the tier 1 brands, but their actions say otherwise.
From my point of view, the Legend was never that successful, especially the 2G version. By the time Lexus hit the scene with the LS, the Legend was toast. So from this perspective, you are correct. Once the V-8, RWD bar was set, Acura has been on the back foot. But, IMO, this includes cars that some consider successes.

As for goals, who knows. My guess is that they want to be the best of "tier 2" but how can you say that in advertising? You can't. You have to say you're going for tier 1 but execute your plan. Much like Lexus talking sport, but delivering something totally different. I've said it in other threads, you don't appeal to older buyers by bragging how much Depends and Ensure you can carry home from Costco. You sell to them by appealing to their youthful self image.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
From my point of view, the Legend was never that successful, especially the 2G version. By the time Lexus hit the scene with the LS, the Legend was toast. So from this perspective, you are correct. Once the V-8, RWD bar was set, Acura has been on the back foot. But, IMO, this includes cars that some consider successes.

As for goals, who knows. My guess is that they want to be the best of "tier 2" but how can you say that in advertising? You can't. You have to say you're going for tier 1 but execute your plan. Much like Lexus talking sport, but delivering something totally different. I've said it in other threads, you don't appeal to older buyers by bragging how much Depends and Ensure you can carry home from Costco. You sell to them by appealing to their youthful self image.

True about the LS, but if my memory serves me, the 2nd gen Legend was an acclaimed car. It was somewhat sporty and the coupe was gorgeous. It still is a handsome car when I happen to see the rare one on the road.

The 1st gen Rl was the beginning of the downward spiral from a flagship perspective. It may have started at the tail end of the Legend generation, but I think the 1st gen RL was the big dud.

As for youthful self image, I don't get that from the RLX. I thought the 2nd gen RL was gorgeous and sporty when I first saw it, even in pictures. I (personally) don't get that when I look at the RLX.

Last edited by GoHawks; 04-04-2013 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
True about the LS, but if my memory serves me, the 2nd gen Legend was an acclaimed car. It was somewhat sporty and the coupe was gorgeous. It still is a handsome car when I happen to see the rare one on the road.

The 1st gen Rl was the beginning of the downward spiral from a flagship perspective. It may have started at the tail end of the Legend generation, but I think the 1st gen RL was the big dud.

As for youthful self image, I don't get that from the RLX. I thought the 2nd gen RL was gorgeous and sporty when I first saw it, even in pictures. I (personally) don't get that when I look at the RLX.
It was a reasonably acclaimed car but after the first years (1991-92) nobody bought it. Sales (IMO) define success. As odd as it sounds, the first few years of the 1G RL were a huge success from a sales perspective, especially compared with Legends. Of course both generations of RL suffered from too long a lifespan and (again IMO) this hurt the reputation as much as anything.

As for the RLX, this is what I meant when I said it wasn't working for you (what I meant when I wrote that). Anyway, there hasn't been much advertising for the car yet, but I wasn't talking about what you see, I was talking about what they say/do in marketing when referring to self image.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by g37guy01 View Post
I think the competition from BMW is the reason Acura is not going RWD + V8. Infiniti has not been building RWD for decades. Their first RWD car was the G35 released circa 2004.

Their big V8 is the M56 or FX50. The G37 is selling extremely well not as good as the 328 better than the other competitors. The M37 is a very nice car, like Dangerfield...don't get no respect. Lexus as a company is a higher tier brand than Infiniti or Acura; however right behind BMW, the G37 is also an ELLPS benchmark.
Infiniti launched the RWD Q45 in 1989 and RWD J30 in 1992. They also had the FWD G20 and AWD QX4.

The G has been doing well for Infiniti since its launch. However, the same can be said for 2G and 3G TL too. And look at the Lexus ES, it's also flying.

Originally Posted by jhr3uva90 View Post
One word: marketing. Marketing goes way beyond mere advertising, and Toyota has mastered it. They know the American consumer better than we know ourselves. And that is why Lexus succeeds, even if Infiniti has better cars.
I think for us enthusiasts, Infiniti has better cars because they are sportier. On the other hand, most people would say Lexus is better and that's probably down to marketing and ride comfort.

Originally Posted by Jerzyboi View Post
But lexus is moving more to the sportier side with most(if not all) their models.
Yea I think that's a good move. They need to broaden their market if they want keep increasing sales!
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:07 PM
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I'm surprised that the Fit wasn't closer to the civic in sales. I see them everywhere!

It's also a little bit amazing that the TSX is still holding strong with the new ILX and deeply discounted TL.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
Thus the 'chicken and egg' conundrum. If Acura were to build a purpose built chassis and price it to make a profit, it would likely be too close to the other competition that enough buyers would say (like they already do), "if I'm paying $$$ for an Acura, I might as well buy [insert car] instead"
Lexus understands that you market to the customers self-image. Thus, they 'talk' about sport while providing comfy cruisers. Yes, they now offer a smattering of truly sport(ier) cars, but face the fact that the majority of the brands' sales come from RX, ES and to a lesser degree IS250s. NOT sporty F cars.
Toyota has always been a better marketing company and Acura (Honda) a better engineering company. So much so, I think Acura may have lost their "right brains". They engineer great machines that deliver tech and performance and on platforms that can be multipurpose for maximum profits.

The "flagship" car and I do use that term lightly, has a V6, but you don't need a V8, since its almost as good. It has FWD, but we use a clever PAWS system to make it handle close to a RWD. This is clever engineering, but not addressing the basic wants of people buying flagship cars. They just don't get it. People don't want just as good, they want good without the qualifiers. It might even be much better (SH AWD is a great system), but the general market doesn't care.

They have to decide what they want from a true flagship car what statement it makes abouth the brand. Lexus got it, BMW, Mercedes and Audi get it. Cadillac gets it, Lincoln is totally lost. Even Hyundai gets it. The Koreans are great at emulating and perfecting (look at Samsung). Hyundai first Genesis and Equus are boring cars, but its clear they are targeting Lexus dead and not doing with a soured up Sonata. They tried a dolled up Sonata, that failed miserably. Anyone remember the XG350? I think the next few generations of Genesis and Equus will be pretty good cars. Their brand may lag, but without the, trying with the Equus and Genesis, their brand perception would never even move upscale.

Acura should just overrule the accountants and bean counters and make a statement car with their flagship. Not a techno marvel that is just as good, and a tad bit less expensive. This is what Consumers Reports would say. CR doesn't have a rating for passion when they test vehicles. People drying this kind of money use their hearts more than their heads, because they can afford to.

I'm glad they are least relaunching the NSX. They should have never killed that car, even if it doesn't turn a profit. Lexus loses money on the LFA, but that car is a statement, not a profit center. I think Acura needs to recognize that not every car has to be or should a self sustaining profit center, at least in the firsts few years. Honda model line, yes, but not Acura if you want to position Acura as a true luxury alternative.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:25 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by iforyou View Post
Infiniti launched the RWD Q45 in 1989 and RWD J30 in 1992. They also had the FWD G20 and AWD QX4.

The G has been doing well for Infiniti since its launch. However, the same can be said for 2G and 3G TL too. And look at the Lexus ES, it's also flying.



I think for us enthusiasts, Infiniti has better cars because they are sportier. On the other hand, most people would say Lexus is better and that's probably down to marketing and ride comfort.



Yea I think that's a good move. They need to broaden their market if they want keep increasing sales!
I tend to agree, the way I see it I look at Lexus at the luxury comfortable end of the spectrum and Infiniti at the sporty end and Acura tends to fall in the middle. I would also say that I think Acura and Lexus are neck and neck for quality with Infiniti a small step behind.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by noobie View Post
Toyota has always been a better marketing company and Acura (Honda) a better engineering company. So much so, I think Acura may have lost their "right brains". They engineer great machines that deliver tech and performance and on platforms that can be multipurpose for maximum profits.

The "flagship" car and I do use that term lightly, has a V6, but you don't need a V8, since its almost as good. It has FWD, but we use a clever PAWS system to make it handle close to a RWD. This is clever engineering, but not addressing the basic wants of people buying flagship cars. They just don't get it. People don't want just as good, they want good without the qualifiers. It might even be much better (SH AWD is a great system), but the general market doesn't care.

They have to decide what they want from a true flagship car what statement it makes abouth the brand. Lexus got it, BMW, Mercedes and Audi get it. Cadillac gets it, Lincoln is totally lost. Even Hyundai gets it. The Koreans are great at emulating and perfecting (look at Samsung). Hyundai first Genesis and Equus are boring cars, but its clear they are targeting Lexus dead and not doing with a soured up Sonata. They tried a dolled up Sonata, that failed miserably. Anyone remember the XG350? I think the next few generations of Genesis and Equus will be pretty good cars. Their brand may lag, but without the, trying with the Equus and Genesis, their brand perception would never even move upscale.

Acura should just overrule the accountants and bean counters and make a statement car with their flagship. Not a techno marvel that is just as good, and a tad bit less expensive. This is what Consumers Reports would say. CR doesn't have a rating for passion when they test vehicles. People drying this kind of money use their hearts more than their heads, because they can afford to.

I'm glad they are least relaunching the NSX. They should have never killed that car, even if it doesn't turn a profit. Lexus loses money on the LFA, but that car is a statement, not a profit center. I think Acura needs to recognize that not every car has to be or should a self sustaining profit center, at least in the firsts few years. Honda model line, yes, but not Acura if you want to position Acura as a true luxury alternative.
Idk, maybe I'm not thinking deep enough but sometimes a product has to make a return somewhere down the line. The ZDX is leaving for the sole reason of not selling much. Also, with Honda being pretty small compared to Toyota, I doubt it's as simple just losing profit on some products (again I'm not a economist just my thoughts). Also the original NSX was pretty long in the tooth.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:48 PM
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I wouldn't put any significance on RLX sales until the SH-SHAWD version makes it's appearance. I don't think that a lot of potential buyers have been eagerly awaiting the FWD version, but I think the new technology and fuel economy of the hybrid version has many Honda/Acura loyalists (and a few outsiders) chomping at the bit to try one. My expectation is that a significant sales spike will occur after the AWD launch and then sales will slide off over the years just like the 1G RL and 2G RL. That is, unless Acura really knocks our socks off with the sports hybrid technology and/or revisits the V10 idea in the future (something that may be made possible with VCM and the fuel economy benefits of the hybrid).
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by musty hustla View Post
I'm surprised that the Fit wasn't closer to the civic in sales. I see them everywhere!

It's also a little bit amazing that the TSX is still holding strong with the new ILX and deeply discounted TL.
Honda is limiting the import of the Fit. It's losing money for each Fit sold. The next gen Fit will be built in Mexico I believe and that would help increase the sales number.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by hondamore View Post
I wouldn't put any significance on RLX sales until the SH-SHAWD version makes it's appearance. I don't think that a lot of potential buyers have been eagerly awaiting the FWD version, but I think the new technology and fuel economy of the hybrid version has many Honda/Acura loyalists (and a few outsiders) chomping at the bit to try one. My expectation is that a significant sales spike will occur after the AWD launch and then sales will slide off over the years just like the 1G RL and 2G RL. That is, unless Acura really knocks our socks off with the sports hybrid technology and/or revisits the V10 idea in the future (something that may be made possible with VCM and the fuel economy benefits of the hybrid).
I don't see the AWD RLX at $70K selling many cars. Look at BMW, MB how many 550i does a dealer have, not as many as they have 528i, same for MB. I suspect if the AWD is more than 6 months away then you may see a small bump, but by that time the RLX sales will probably have peaked and may even find they run rate.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
I don't see the AWD RLX at $70K selling many cars. Look at BMW, MB how many 550i does a dealer have, not as many as they have 528i, same for MB. I suspect if the AWD is more than 6 months away then you may see a small bump, but by that time the RLX sales will probably have peaked and may even find they run rate.
I agree. I don't see many dropping $70K for this car.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jerzyboi View Post
Idk, maybe I'm not thinking deep enough but sometimes a product has to make a return somewhere down the line. The ZDX is leaving for the sole reason of not selling much. Also, with Honda being pretty small compared to Toyota, I doubt it's as simple just losing profit on some products (again I'm not a economist just my thoughts). Also the original NSX was pretty long in the tooth.
I think you are reinforcing my point. The ZDX was not an aspirational or concept/super car like the NSX was when it was first launched. The NSX was long in the tooth because they let it get that way and didn't use it as a medium to push boundaries and inspire. They stopped spending money on it. Instead of developing a true luxury platform, they want to reuse, engines and drivetrains on other models from their flagship. Car makers don't make a lot of profit on low volume inspirational models meant to convey the brand and represent a dream car. Here is excerpt from Wiki about the launch of Lexus (I bolded some key lines):

1980s: The F1 project

In 1983, Toyota chairman Eiji Toyoda summoned a secret meeting of company executives, to whom he posed the question, “Can we create a luxury vehicle to challenge the world's best?” This question prompted Toyota to embark on a top-secret project, code-named F1 (“Flagship One”). The F1 project, whose finished product was ultimately the Lexus LS 400, aimed to develop a flagship sedan that would expand Toyota’s product line, giving it a foothold in the premium segment and offering both longtime and new customers an upmarket product. The F1 project followed the success of the Toyota Supra sports car and the premium Toyota Cressida models. Both the Supra and Cressida were rear-wheel drive cars with a powerful 7M-GE/7M-GTE inline-six engine. The largest sedan Toyota built at the time was the limited-production, 1960s-vintage Toyota Century, its domestic, hand built, limousine flagship and sole V8-powered model, followed by the inline-six-engined Toyota Crown premium sedan. The Century was conservatively styled for the Japanese market, and along with the Crown not slated for export. F1 designers targeted their new sedan at international markets and began development on a new V8 engine.

The opportunity for Japanese manufacturers to export more expensive models had grown in the 1980s due to voluntary export restraints, negotiated by the Japanese government and U.S. trade representatives, restricting mainstream car sales. In 1986, Honda launched its Acura marque in the U.S., influencing Toyota's plans for a luxury division; the initial Acura model was an export version of the Honda Legend, itself launched in Japan in 1985 as a rival to the Toyota Crown, Nissan Cedric/Gloria and Mazda Luce. In 1987, Nissan unveiled its plans for a premium brand, Infiniti, and revised its flagship Nissan President sedan in standard wheelbase form for export as the Infiniti Q45, which it launched in 1990. In 1988, Mazda began selling the Luce as the Mazda 929 in North America, and later began plans to develop an upscale marque, to be called Amati, but its plans did not come to fruition.

Toyota researchers visited the U.S. in May 1985 to conduct focus groups and market research on luxury consumers. During that time, several F1 designers rented a home in Laguna Beach, California to observe the lifestyles and tastes of American upper class consumers. Meanwhile, F1 engineering teams conducted prototype testing on locations ranging from the German autobahn to U.S. roads. Toyota’s market research concluded that a separate brand and sales channel were needed to present its new flagship sedan, and plans were made to develop a new network of dealerships in the U.S. market.

Launch

The LS 400 flagship sedan launched in 1989, introducing Lexus to the world.
In 1989, after an extended development process involving 60 designers, 24 engineering teams, 1,400 engineers, 2,300 technicians, 220 support workers, around 450 prototypes, and over US$1 billion in costs, the F1 project was completed. The resulting flagship, the Lexus LS 400, had a unique design that shared no major elements with previous Toyota vehicles, with a new 4.0 L V8 gasoline engine and rear-wheel drive.
The LS 400 debuted in January 1989 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and officially went on sale the following September at a network of 81 new Lexus dealerships across the U.S. The LS 400 was sold along with a smaller sibling, the Toyota Camry-based ES 250. The launch of Lexus was heralded by a multimillion dollar advertising campaign in both television and print media.[31]
At its debut, the LS 400 was widely praised for its quietness, well-appointed and ergonomic interior, engine performance, build quality, aerodynamics, fuel economy, and value, although it was criticized by some automobile columnists for derivative styling and a suspension regarded as too compromising of handling for ride comfort. The LS 400 debuted at US$38,000 in the U.S. (in some markets, it was priced against mid-size six-cylinder Mercedes-Benz and BMW models) and was rated by Car and Driver magazine as better than both the US$63,000 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL and the US$55,000 BMW 735i in terms of ride, handling, and performance. The LS 400 also won major motoring awards from publications including Automobile Magazine and Wheels Magazine. Despite being an upstart, Lexus established instant customer loyalty and its debut was generally regarded as a major shock to the pedigree luxury marques. BMW's and Mercedes-Benz's U.S. sales figures dropped 29% and 19%, respectively, with BMW executives accusing Lexus of dumping in that market, while 35% of Lexus buyers traded in a Lincoln or Cadillac to make their purchase.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by noobie View Post
I think you are reinforcing my point. The ZDX was not an aspirational or concept/super car like the NSX was when it was first launched. The NSX was long in the tooth because they let it get that way and didn't use it as a medium to push boundaries and inspire. They stopped spending money on it. Instead of developing a true luxury platform, they want to reuse, engines and drivetrains on other models from their flagship. Car makers don't make a lot of profit on low volume inspirational models meant to convey the brand and represent a dream car. Here is excerpt from Wiki about the launch of Lexus (I bolded some key lines):

1980s: The F1 project

In 1983, Toyota chairman Eiji Toyoda summoned a secret meeting of company executives, to whom he posed the question, “Can we create a luxury vehicle to challenge the world's best?” This question prompted Toyota to embark on a top-secret project, code-named F1 (“Flagship One”). The F1 project, whose finished product was ultimately the Lexus LS 400, aimed to develop a flagship sedan that would expand Toyota’s product line, giving it a foothold in the premium segment and offering both longtime and new customers an upmarket product. The F1 project followed the success of the Toyota Supra sports car and the premium Toyota Cressida models. Both the Supra and Cressida were rear-wheel drive cars with a powerful 7M-GE/7M-GTE inline-six engine. The largest sedan Toyota built at the time was the limited-production, 1960s-vintage Toyota Century, its domestic, hand built, limousine flagship and sole V8-powered model, followed by the inline-six-engined Toyota Crown premium sedan. The Century was conservatively styled for the Japanese market, and along with the Crown not slated for export. F1 designers targeted their new sedan at international markets and began development on a new V8 engine.

The opportunity for Japanese manufacturers to export more expensive models had grown in the 1980s due to voluntary export restraints, negotiated by the Japanese government and U.S. trade representatives, restricting mainstream car sales. In 1986, Honda launched its Acura marque in the U.S., influencing Toyota's plans for a luxury division; the initial Acura model was an export version of the Honda Legend, itself launched in Japan in 1985 as a rival to the Toyota Crown, Nissan Cedric/Gloria and Mazda Luce. In 1987, Nissan unveiled its plans for a premium brand, Infiniti, and revised its flagship Nissan President sedan in standard wheelbase form for export as the Infiniti Q45, which it launched in 1990. In 1988, Mazda began selling the Luce as the Mazda 929 in North America, and later began plans to develop an upscale marque, to be called Amati, but its plans did not come to fruition.

Toyota researchers visited the U.S. in May 1985 to conduct focus groups and market research on luxury consumers. During that time, several F1 designers rented a home in Laguna Beach, California to observe the lifestyles and tastes of American upper class consumers. Meanwhile, F1 engineering teams conducted prototype testing on locations ranging from the German autobahn to U.S. roads. Toyota’s market research concluded that a separate brand and sales channel were needed to present its new flagship sedan, and plans were made to develop a new network of dealerships in the U.S. market.

Launch

The LS 400 flagship sedan launched in 1989, introducing Lexus to the world.
In 1989, after an extended development process involving 60 designers, 24 engineering teams, 1,400 engineers, 2,300 technicians, 220 support workers, around 450 prototypes, and over US$1 billion in costs, the F1 project was completed. The resulting flagship, the Lexus LS 400, had a unique design that shared no major elements with previous Toyota vehicles, with a new 4.0 L V8 gasoline engine and rear-wheel drive.
The LS 400 debuted in January 1989 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and officially went on sale the following September at a network of 81 new Lexus dealerships across the U.S. The LS 400 was sold along with a smaller sibling, the Toyota Camry-based ES 250. The launch of Lexus was heralded by a multimillion dollar advertising campaign in both television and print media.[31]
At its debut, the LS 400 was widely praised for its quietness, well-appointed and ergonomic interior, engine performance, build quality, aerodynamics, fuel economy, and value, although it was criticized by some automobile columnists for derivative styling and a suspension regarded as too compromising of handling for ride comfort. The LS 400 debuted at US$38,000 in the U.S. (in some markets, it was priced against mid-size six-cylinder Mercedes-Benz and BMW models) and was rated by Car and Driver magazine as better than both the US$63,000 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL and the US$55,000 BMW 735i in terms of ride, handling, and performance. The LS 400 also won major motoring awards from publications including Automobile Magazine and Wheels Magazine. Despite being an upstart, Lexus established instant customer loyalty and its debut was generally regarded as a major shock to the pedigree luxury marques. BMW's and Mercedes-Benz's U.S. sales figures dropped 29% and 19%, respectively, with BMW executives accusing Lexus of dumping in that market, while 35% of Lexus buyers traded in a Lincoln or Cadillac to make their purchase.
I didn't realize Lexus spent that much time on the LS but It's not surprising. I still feel if it wasn't for the expected economic downturn, Honda would have probably used the GT car they were testing as a NSX replacement.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by noobie View Post
***Car makers don't make a lot of profit on low volume inspirational models meant to convey the brand and represent a dream car.***
Most of the regular public do not give a hoot about these halo and inspirational dream cars. They are mostly fodder for the mags and rags.

I don't know anyone who bought a TL due to the NSX or an ES350 due to the LFA. At least in my mind, Acura is neither elevated or Infiniti diminished for one having a halo car and one not having a halo car.

That people buy these vehicles is another story; an auto makers mantra is build it expensive enough and they will come.

Perception is irrelevant in the auto industry, sales are what is relevant.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:54 AM
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^^ I generally agree, but I think a real knock-out halo car can create brand awareness and build a "buzz" about a brand, much as described in the article about the LS400's debut. Of course, that car also went on to be a big seller (at least for its segment).
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^^^Yes. But the blurb elucidated one thing very clearly, marketing and sales 101. Know your target market, build your product to your target market and build it excellently.

So if as everyone says the AWD RLX will be $70K and Acura is calling this "smart luxury" who is their target market? And have they designed this vehicle for what their target market wants?
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by g37guy01 View Post
^^^Yes. But the blurb elucidated one thing very clearly, marketing and sales 101. Know your target market, build your product to your target market and build it excellently.

So if as everyone says the AWD RLX will be $70K and Acura is calling this "smart luxury" who is their target market? And have they designed this vehicle for what their target market wants?
I am Acura's target market for the RLX. A long time Honda/Acura owner with the means to spend $70,000 buying a luxury car. Of the milliions and millions of Civic, Accord and CRV buyers (Honda's main core of buyers), many eventually find themselves able to afford varying degrees of "luxury" vehicles and thus the Acura brand was born as a place for those people to park their money. Many of them move on to brands that make a statement regarding their new social status, but many of them remain loyal and just plain "feel at home" in a safe, reliable Honda product, so they choose Acura. Sure Acura would love to lure buyers from other manufacturers, but I believe the primary focus of the Acura brand, including the RLX, is aimed at loyal Honda buyers.
I haven't yet seen the RLX in person, let alone the AWD version that I would be interested in, but from first glance and speculation - it is exactly what I, the target market, wants.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:37 PM
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^^^ I couldn't agree with you more. Although I never began with the Honda family (went straight to Acura in 2006), I have become extremely loyal to the brand since and really feel at home. As much as I want to go to a more sexier brand (Audi or BMW), I never seem to be able to walk away from the warm fuzzies I get behind the wheel of a solidly built vehicle.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:48 PM
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Im the target audience and Acura to me meant sporty and value. this model with PAWS, is not. If Acura is competing with Buick, then they might have a winner.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:51 PM
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Dwest...I am also not in the market for the RLX as it is too "bland" for me, the statement I was making above was just reference to Acura in general. I think the TL has been an amazing vehicle for me and I am eager to replace to get my blood pumping again and the reason why I am eagerly awaiting news on the TLX (and I think you are in the same boat as me)....

For me, HP and RWD is not what gets me excited about a car, its sexy exterior styling (with aero kit availability), gorgeous and sexy cockpit and reliability
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by g37guy01 View Post

Perception is irrelevant in the auto industry, sales are what is relevant.
You are naive if if you don't think perception plays a major role in sales.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by dwest1023 View Post
Im the target audience and Acura to me meant sporty and value. this model with PAWS, is not. If Acura is competing with Buick, then they might have a winner.
Right on. Include me in that statement.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
You are naive if if you don't think perception plays a major role in sales.
I may be naïve. I don't buy a car based on perception, I buy a car based on what it delivers and how closely the vehicle aligns to my priorities of what I'm looking for...badge be darned.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by g37guy01 View Post
I may be naïve. I don't buy a car based on perception, I buy a car based on what it delivers and how closely the vehicle aligns to my priorities of what I'm looking for...badge be darned.
Yeah, but that's not how most people make their purchases.

I know a guy who is paying $800/month for a lease on a lower trim level 5 series. He is running over his miles and now is driving his parents old minivan while the 5 series sits in the garage.

While he still pays $800 a month.

The "perceptions" people have about BMW is what drives them (no pun intended) to pay $800/month on a lease while it sits in a garage and you drive an 8 year old minivan.

I don't see people selling their souls like that to drive the RLX.

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Old 04-07-2013, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
Yeah, but that's not how most people make their purchases.

I know a guy who is paying $800/month for a lease on a lower trim level 5 series. He is running over his miles and now is driving his parents old minivan while the 5 series sits in the garage.

While he still pays $800 a month.

The "perceptions" people have about BMW is what drives them (no pun intended) to pay $800/month on a lease while it sits in a garage and you drive an 8 year old minivan.

I don't see people selling their souls like that to drive the RLX.
"Selling their souls"? That sounds more like poor decision making.

I, for one, think that Acura was dead on with RLX for what I wanted in a car. RWD? Forget about it. I will never own another RWD car as long as I live. I love the way my Advanced drives, thank you very much. Styling? Almost perfect for me. Understated. Hopefully won't draw attention once others start putting out LEDs in a similar arrangement. The tech is almost perfect. Love the interior. The seats are great. And then, of course, I get the reliability and service that I've become accustomed to since I bought my first Acura back in 2001.

BMW? I lived in Germany for 7 years and drove various models where they were made to be driven. Some were fun to drive. Some were not. I'd never own one. Too much trouble to maintain. Can't imagine how hard it would be in the US since you can't really drive the car.

And I wouldn't waste my time hanging out on the BMW boards whining about they didn't make a car for me.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by g37guy01 View Post
I may be naïve. I don't buy a car based on perception, I buy a car based on what it delivers and how closely the vehicle aligns to my priorities of what I'm looking for...badge be darned.
And that's how I ended up owning three Acuras. Were I concerned about perception, I'd be in a Bimmer right now, fascinated by a badge. Right now, I want V8/RWD performance, so I've been chasing that.

Even so, GoHawks is right, many people are swayed by perception. The perception is that Acuras are basically tarted up Hondas, which of course they are. The great mass of people, who are not car enthusiasts, seem to find it easier to forget that a Lexus is a Toyota or an Audi is a VW, or for that matter, that a Ferrari is a REALLY tarted up Fiat...or at least Fiat-owned.

That's all on marketing of perception, which we can all agree Acura sucks at. They really need a new PR firm....
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Thrillington View Post
"Selling their souls"? That sounds more like poor decision making.

I, for one, think that Acura was dead on with RLX for what I wanted in a car. RWD? Forget about it. I will never own another RWD car as long as I live. I love the way my Advanced drives, thank you very much. Styling? Almost perfect for me. Understated. Hopefully won't draw attention once others start putting out LEDs in a similar arrangement. The tech is almost perfect. Love the interior. The seats are great. And then, of course, I get the reliability and service that I've become accustomed to since I bought my first Acura back in 2001.

BMW? I lived in Germany for 7 years and drove various models where they were made to be driven. Some were fun to drive. Some were not. I'd never own one. Too much trouble to maintain. Can't imagine how hard it would be in the US since you can't really drive the car.

And I wouldn't waste my time hanging out on the BMW boards whining about they didn't make a car for me.
Congrats on your purchase and welcome to the boards. I am glad you enjoy your car. I am sincere about that.

Now back to your opening statement. Proper decision making by the buyer has nothing to do with a manufacturer selling cars. I also know many people who say buying a $60K depreciating asset is a poor financial decision.

For whatever reasons, perceived or real, the majority of luxury buyers (based on sales numbers) "want" a BMW or Mercedes, and some (like the guy I mentioned) are willing to make illogical decisions to get one. I should also mention that this guy is an MBA with a strong financial background who has made his company a lot of money so he knows numbers. It's just in this case he isn't thinking with his head.

If Acura wants to take away sales from that demographic they have to elicit that same sort of desire. I personally don't see the RLX doing that. I don't see it selling any better than the 2nd gen RL over time.

For your information since you are new to the boards, I owned Acuras for 19 years, so I have been with the brand a long time. My last was a 2006 RL which I LOVED. Mine was nearing 100K miles and I had noticed and fell in love with the new Cadillac CTS Coupe. It wasn't a practical car, but I am at a point in my life where I didn't have to make a practical choice, but I wanted to see what the new RLX would look like. I was underwhelmed and that finally pushed me to jump brands.

Now that isn't an indictment on the RLX as a car. Despite the improvements made by the domestics I have no doubt the RLX will be more reliable in the long run compared to my CTS (but so far so good). Although my RL had a few issues over the years. Nothing major, but far from bulletproof.

The RLX may be the "logical" or "smart luxury" choice for most of its buyers, and I don't disagree that it's probably the right financial decision, but when you are asking people to spend $60K+ it's not always about smart financial decisions. In the end it's a car. You can buy a nice Honda Accord to get you back and forth to work. THAT might be the "smart" financial choice for most people.

As a manufacturer, what I would think you want is to build a car that when unveiled, it elicits a "I gotta have that car!" emotion.

That is how I felt when I saw the 2nd gen RL. Apparently, I along with a few others on this board were in the minority. I felt the same way about my CTS coupe. I don't see that same feeling with the RLX, even on these forums where most of us are predisposed to owning Acuras (Hell, I am still here and I don't own one anymore). There are a few people who have been favorable feelings about it, but generally it seems to me that the feeling is.... "meh".

Again, that doesn't mean it is a BAD car. It's just not a car that is going to steal much sales from the other luxury brands.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by neuronbob View Post
And that's how I ended up owning three Acuras. Were I concerned about perception, I'd be in a Bimmer right now, fascinated by a badge. Right now, I want V8/RWD performance, so I've been chasing that.

Even so, GoHawks is right, many people are swayed by perception. The perception is that Acuras are basically tarted up Hondas, which of course they are. The great mass of people, who are not car enthusiasts, seem to find it easier to forget that a Lexus is a Toyota or an Audi is a VW, or for that matter, that a Ferrari is a REALLY tarted up Fiat...or at least Fiat-owned.

That's all on marketing of perception, which we can all agree Acura sucks at. They really need a new PR firm....
With all due respect (and I do have a lot of respect for you), Ferrari's are as similar as Ferraris as Joan Rivers is to Kate Upton.

Remember Ferrari was it's own company. When Enzo Ferrari died, FIAT bought the company but they are smart enough to leave it alone. Unlike what you see with Lexus/Toyota, Nissan/Infiniti, Audi/VW and GM/Cadillac and Ford/Lincoln, there is no cross development between the exotics and the mainstream FIATS.

Sorry, I just shuddered when I read you say Ferrari and FIAT in the same sentence.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
Yeah, but that's not how most people make their purchases.

I know a guy who is paying $800/month for a lease on a lower trim level 5 series. He is running over his miles and now is driving his parents old minivan while the 5 series sits in the garage.

While he still pays $800 a month.

The "perceptions" people have about BMW is what drives them (no pun intended) to pay $800/month on a lease while it sits in a garage and you drive an 8 year old minivan.

I don't see people selling their souls like that to drive the RLX.
You don't think a $70K RLX(if that's the price) won't lease for $800/mo, if not more based on $0 down? And some poor slob who can't plan breakfast won't do the same thing. That's naive.

What you highlighted has little to do with BMW(the badge) and everything to do with poor planning. That type of thing would happen to the same type of person on any lease car. If you can afford $800 rent you can afford the overages.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by g37guy01 View Post
You don't think a $70K RLX(if that's the price) won't lease for $800/mo, if not more based on $0 down? And some poor slob who can't plan breakfast won't do the same thing. That's naive.

What you highlighted has little to do with BMW(the badge) and everything to do with poor planning. That type of thing would happen to the same type of person on any lease car. If you can afford $800 rent you can afford the overages.
We can agree to disagree, but it has A LOT to do with the badge. Of course there might be someone who MIGHT do that with an RLX, but I would bet that BMW will attract more of those "poor slobs".

Hey, if after making the purchase all you can afford to eat is Mac n Cheese, you at least want the status and argue as much as we want, BMW has the status, Acura does not.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by neuronbob View Post
And that's how I ended up owning three Acuras. Were I concerned about perception, I'd be in a Bimmer right now, fascinated by a badge. Right now, I want V8/RWD performance, so I've been chasing that.

Even so, GoHawks is right, many people are swayed by perception. The perception is that Acuras are basically tarted up Hondas, which of course they are. The great mass of people, who are not car enthusiasts, seem to find it easier to forget that a Lexus is a Toyota or an Audi is a VW, or for that matter, that a Ferrari is a REALLY tarted up Fiat...or at least Fiat-owned.

That's all on marketing of perception, which we can all agree Acura sucks at. They really need a new PR firm....
It's not like the BMW has a hypnotic quality on people. IMO what the perception is about is a car company that delivers the goods. (You of course have to decide if what the car company is delivering is what you are looking for in a car)

Having driven both a 750 and 460. I prefer the 750. The 550 is so intoxicating, the 535 is pretty darn good also.

As far as the mission the 335 is at the top of heap, imo. While I chose the the G this time around, it has some nuances the 335 does not exhibit and at times although I'm happy with the G, I do have buyers remorse on occasion. I do think BMW delivers the goods in such a way, it draws people into the showroom to get them to drive the car. The car closes the deal.

So I disagree about what Gohawks is saying. When people put themselves into a BMW, there is something about that vehicle that sells itself. (Assuming the aforementioned idiot actually test drove the thing before he signed the lease agreement) I do agree there seems to be some common knowledge amongst car buyers that BMW makes "nice" cars. (Also Lexus)

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Old 04-07-2013, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
Congrats on your purchase and welcome to the boards. I am glad you enjoy your car. I am sincere about that.

Now back to your opening statement. Proper decision making by the buyer has nothing to do with a manufacturer selling cars. I also know many people who say buying a $60K depreciating asset is a poor financial decision.

For whatever reasons, perceived or real, the majority of luxury buyers (based on sales numbers) "want" a BMW or Mercedes, and some (like the guy I mentioned) are willing to make illogical decisions to get one. I should also mention that this guy is an MBA with a strong financial background who has made his company a lot of money so he knows numbers. It's just in this case he isn't thinking with his head.

If Acura wants to take away sales from that demographic they have to elicit that same sort of desire. I personally don't see the RLX doing that. I don't see it selling any better than the 2nd gen RL over time.

For your information since you are new to the boards, I owned Acuras for 19 years, so I have been with the brand a long time. My last was a 2006 RL which I LOVED. Mine was nearing 100K miles and I had noticed and fell in love with the new Cadillac CTS Coupe. It wasn't a practical car, but I am at a point in my life where I didn't have to make a practical choice, but I wanted to see what the new RLX would look like. I was underwhelmed and that finally pushed me to jump brands.

Now that isn't an indictment on the RLX as a car. Despite the improvements made by the domestics I have no doubt the RLX will be more reliable in the long run compared to my CTS (but so far so good). Although my RL had a few issues over the years. Nothing major, but far from bulletproof.

The RLX may be the "logical" or "smart luxury" choice for most of its buyers, and I don't disagree that it's probably the right financial decision, but when you are asking people to spend $60K+ it's not always about smart financial decisions. In the end it's a car. You can buy a nice Honda Accord to get you back and forth to work. THAT might be the "smart" financial choice for most people.

As a manufacturer, what I would think you want is to build a car that when unveiled, it elicits a "I gotta have that car!" emotion.

That is how I felt when I saw the 2nd gen RL. Apparently, I along with a few others on this board were in the minority. I felt the same way about my CTS coupe. I don't see that same feeling with the RLX, even on these forums where most of us are predisposed to owning Acuras (Hell, I am still here and I don't own one anymore). There are a few people who have been favorable feelings about it, but generally it seems to me that the feeling is.... "meh".

Again, that doesn't mean it is a BAD car. It's just not a car that is going to steal much sales from the other luxury brands.
Unless I'm misinterperting what you are posting, I can't understand why spending $60K on an RLX is smart, but spending $60K on a 535 is dumb; which is what you seem to be implying.

You are right on one count however, that Acura has to build cars that elicit poor decision making. It has to be the "badge" company that is so despised by a lot here.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by g37guy01 View Post
Unless I'm misinterperting what you are posting, I can't understand why spending $60K on an RLX is smart, but spending $60K on a 535 is dumb; which is what you seem to be implying.

You are right on one count however, that Acura has to build cars that elicit poor decision making. It has to be the "badge" company that is so despised by a lot here.
No that is not what I am implying, but that is what has been implied by others on this board. They are saying that people who buy Acuras don't care about the badge. They are looking for value, reliability, content and "stealth wealth" (again a term coined on these boards). They are saying that people don't care about the hype over V8s and RWD.

It's all about what you value more. People who buy (or mostly lease) BMWs value the performance, and yes maybe the prestige aspect of the equation. People who buy Acuras may put more emphasis on reliability and the VALUE aspect since you used to be able to get more content in an Acura than a comparably priced BMW 535i. Hence the term "SMART luxury" that many here are using. Implying that Acura drivers are smart and BMW drivers are clueless lemmings following the masses.

I say "used to" because the current pricing has put the RLX in BMW category and the value argument may no longer be as strong.

As for your last comment, THAT IS EXACTLY what I am saying if Acura is to be a sales leader in the luxury car market. As a colleague of mine once said, you and are in "violent agreement".

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Old 04-07-2013, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
No that is not what I am implying, but that is what has been implied by others on this board. They are saying that people who buy Acuras don't care about the badge. They are looking for value, reliability, content and "stealth wealth" (again a term coined on these boards). They are saying that people don't care about the hype over V8s and RWD.

It's all about what you value more. People who buy (or mostly lease) BMWs value the performance, and yes maybe the prestige aspect of the equation. People who buy Acuras may put more emphasis on reliability and the VALUE aspect since you used to be able to get more content in an Acura than a comparably priced BMW 535i. Hence the term "SMART luxury" that many here are using. Implying that Acura drivers are smart and BMW drivers are clueless lemmings following the masses.

I say "used to" because the current pricing has put the RLX in BMW category and the value argument may no longer be as strong.

As for your last comment, THAT IS EXACTLY what I am saying if Acura is to be a sales leader in the luxury car market. As a colleague of mine once said, you and are in "violent agreement".
Well spoken! In 2006 I owned 06 TSX, Tl, RL. All 3 had the Acura DNA, meaning excellent handling, all the tech for less, and the styling was RIGHT. Not to mention I never had a drop of trouble out of any of them. Now,Acura seems to be going a different direction. At the current RLX pricing, I'm not sure smart luxury fits anymore. The handling is not as good as I'm used to in an Acura.(RLX) Styling? Seems to stills to bring about controversy, but less than in the past. So for me, all the most of the things I liked about Acura is fading.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
Sorry, I just shuddered when I read you say Ferrari and FIAT in the same sentence.
I know that, and you know that, but the general public has no idea that Ferrari is owned by Fiat.....and that's all marketing. You don't hear about it in the automotive press nearly as often as you hear of Acura and Honda in the same breath in the car rags, which to some extent drive public perception. Even when Lexus is mentioned in the same breath as Toyota, it's in a different sense, usually "Toyota owns". With Acura, there is always the comparison to the Accord, especially with the RL.

This is exactly the sort of thing Acura has to fight.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by neuronbob View Post
I know that, and you know that, but the general public has no idea that Ferrari is owned by Fiat.....and that's all marketing. You don't hear about it in the automotive press nearly as often as you hear of Acura and Honda in the same breath in the car rags, which to some extent drive public perception. Even when Lexus is mentioned in the same breath as Toyota, it's in a different sense, usually "Toyota owns". With Acura, there is always the comparison to the Accord, especially with the RL.

This is exactly the sort of thing Acura has to fight.
I understand what you are saying, but there is absolutely NO cross pollinating of FIAT and Ferrari product. The relationship is in ownership only. There is nothing shared.

There is Honda DNA all over Acura products and the engineering trickles down (sometimes up), and yes with Lexus the references are different (your ownership comment), but there is still Toyota DNA in Lexus products (even though the masses don't always know that.
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