Acura following in Subaru’s footsteps, focuses on AWDPOSTED BY ON 13 October 2014
HONDA’S luxury vehicle division, Acura, is looking to reinvent itself once again and this time, it is following in the footsteps of Subaru, one of America’s most successful brands.
Automotive News reported that Acura is positioning all-wheel drive as the main focus of its revival attempt, as Subaru did successfully in the 1990s.
Subaru went to four-paw drive for its vehicles beginning 1997.
Acura has installed the system in half of its vehicles sold in the US this year. Eventually, AWD will be standardised for all Acura models.
“In the future all Acura’s will be AWDs except the entry-level ILX sedan,” Honda’s senior managing officer Kochi Fukuo said.
“The key is AWD. As a premium brand, we need something different than what our competitors are offering,” said
Barclays Securities Japan’s analyst Tatsuo added: “Making Acura 100 per cent all-wheel drive could be a good idea. From a sales and marketing point of view, it is easier to sell cars with such technology.”
It was noted that other premium brands such as BMW and Audi have already adopted the AWD system.
“Looking at Subaru, I felt that we have to have a strong, clear direction as a brand. What’s important is to have the right technology, styling and performance,” Fukuo added.
Subaru’s sales in the US soared 20 per cent to almost 375,500 vehicles through September, making it on track to achieving its sixth consecutive year of record sales in the country.
However, Acura’s sales slumped 1 per cent to 119,750 in the same period.
Acura is introducing next-generation AWD technologies in two sedans – the new TLX sedan and RLX hybrid.
Subaru has all-wheel drive for all its models except for the rear wheel drive (RWD)-BRZ sports car.