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Last year Acura saw its sedan sales drop by 10 percent. In an attempt to remedy the situation, Honda Motor Co. created a new group to plan business development for the premium brand. It's called the Acura Business Planning Office, and its head is Erik Berkman, currently president of Honda R&D Americas.

Erik Berkman

A 10 percent drop in combined sales of Acura's ILX, TSX, TL and RLX sedans kept Honda from a goal of achieving record sales in 2013 and overshadowed gains for the brand's more successful MDX and RDX SUVs.

Acura still seems to be struggling to find its identity. Auto industry analyst Ed Kim says, "Acura for many, many years has been a brand without an identity," Kim said. "They are good, solid, dependable, somewhat premium cars that don't communicate any clear message about what they are. The best luxury brands stand for something."

Berkman joined Acura in 1982, and he led development of the 2004 TL sport sedan, which is among Acura's most successful cars. Acura's immediate plans for the future include the release of the TLX, modifications to Acura's ILX compact sedan, and the 2015 return of the Acura NSX "supercar."

Is this the big turn around that Acura has been in need of, or is this just more rhetoric and empty gestures that won't really change anything? I am leaning more towards the latter.
 

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You've completely missed the point it seems...

This is finally a move towards setting Acura up as a seperate division to Honda USA. Currently American Honda guys are responsible for Acura, likely part of the reason you see the latest tech in Hondas first BEFORE Acura.

All you need to do is look at the product revolution at Infiniti since they were allowed to operate as their own separate entity. I believe Lexus is set up in the same way as well..
 

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Good stuff

Get er done Berkman!~

You've done it before you can do it again!

So please give us a 6MT! Thanks!

Bring back the Type S please! Thanks!

Even though it doesnt sell very much it shows the consumers that Acura isn't sleeping.

And hurry up with that NSX! Even though I can never afford one! I want to see it on the road to prove everyone wrong. Make your cars exciting. Don't just market them to be exciting. Actually MAKE THEM exciting to drive!
 

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If they actually include 6MT, it will at least get them a good portion of true automotive enthusiasts, keeping the fire alive.
 

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Regardless of whether Acura is autonomous or just a wing of Honda, it just matters if this move will lead to actual change or not. How long do you think it will be before we see the full impact of this move? A few years?
 

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reorganize the chairs on the deck of a sinking ship because you cant fix the hole in the hull!

Shuffling people around middle management is not going to lead to a product revolution, you're simply using the same people in different capacities, capacities that they are not familiar with. Its likely this just makes Acura even worse..

They need a guy like Akio Toyoda, a hard ass with taste... Whatever, let them slide into oblivion, its been a while since we had a good collapse...
 

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I feel like Acura just needs to take bigger risks and do crazier things

The beak grill does not count

They reuse the same things over and over again. I think more importantly they need to design something that will really make people love Acura again.

And offer performance models even though people don't buy them. Just don't make that many of them. Make them rare

It will show people that Acura still has some fire.
 

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Bigger risks is what they need, they're involved in so many industries that the risk can be worth it. If there's a next car they should build, it's the next S2000
 

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thats how i feel too

read the news today?

toyota was saying their problem was that the process from design to production is too long and passes through too much people

which doesnt allow them to take risks and have individuality

they want to take greater risks and come out with more interesting cars.

i feel like Acura pondered the TLX for like 3 years - it probably had to pass through 500 execs and from vision to the concept we see - its not even the same car
 

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thats how i feel too

read the news today?

toyota was saying their problem was that the process from design to production is too long and passes through too much people

which doesnt allow them to take risks and have individuality

they want to take greater risks and come out with more interesting cars.

i feel like Acura pondered the TLX for like 3 years - it probably had to pass through 500 execs and from vision to the concept we see - its not even the same car
I was just about to say the same thing! hawkins above makes a good point about shuffling the same people around. This is not going to automatically lead to fresher ideas, its the same people having to adhere to the same protocols...

move along, nothing to see here ;)
 

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thats how i feel too

read the news today?

toyota was saying their problem was that the process from design to production is too long and passes through too much people

which doesnt allow them to take risks and have individuality

they want to take greater risks and come out with more interesting cars.

i feel like Acura pondered the TLX for like 3 years - it probably had to pass through 500 execs and from vision to the concept we see - its not even the same car
thats likely why one of their vehicles, the Lexus LFA took so long to finally go into production. it took them over 10 years!
 

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well would you classify the upcoming (maybe) NSX as a risk? Its a hybrid sportscar and a significant shift in their design language. Ok maybe not a shift but a significant evolution...
 

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well would you classify the upcoming (maybe) NSX as a risk? Its a hybrid sportscar and a significant shift in their design language. Ok maybe not a shift but a significant evolution...
I doubt it will be much of a loss, it will do a lot for them, not only financially.
 

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I doubt it will be much of a loss, it will do a lot for them, not only financially.
as much as i would like to agree with you, Acuras recent behavior makes me question weather they can pull off the NSX appropriately. Although i do suppose its Honda leading the dev on the NSX and not Acura...

But Acura will find a way to feck it up, guaranteed they offer the American NSX as FWD only with a 4 banger... ;)

LOL
 

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The NSX is great but at the end of the day Acura won't sell that many since its a pretty niche vehicle. Acura needs a car that has the design chops of the NSX but makes sense as a daily driver.

I totally can see how Acura may have the same problem that Toyota was talking about. Too many people involved in the design process takes much of the risk and vision out of the process. I think its pretty plain to see that this is the case when you consider that the TLX concept was not very conceptual. It is not as though the TLX is very inspiring. I don't think that it brings anything new, design-wise to the Acura brand.
 

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im not sure if acura can save themselves with an nsx

the previous nsx wasnt that big of a success financially either

it seems like it was more of a success after it was discontinued.
 

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im not sure if acura can save themselves with an nsx

the previous nsx wasnt that big of a success financially either

it seems like it was more of a success after it was discontinued.
That sounds perfect because with the way that Acura is doing business now soon the entire brand will be discontinued.

Joking... Not joking.

The NSX certainly won't rescue Acura or anything. It just won't be bought by that many people even if people agree that it is awesome. I wonder what kind of margins Aura will make on the NSX. I have a feeling that it is a pretty expensive car to produce.
 

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It won't rescue them but it will save their reputation, they can save themselves by releasing some mainstream vehicle that becomes a hit. Kind of like how Scion released the FR-S
 

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it does help with their reputation

it shows people acura does care about performance because they dont seem to create very performance inspired models.
 
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