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Honda creates new office to oversee Acura development
« : Februarie 26, 2014, 09:59:58 a.m. »
Honda creates new office to oversee Acura development

Honda has created a new business planning office for its Acura brand in a bid to shore up sliding sedan sales at the luxury division.

Acura announced on Monday the formation of the Acura Business Planning Office, which will be led by Erik Berkman, president of Honda R&D Americas. Berkman, who joined Honda in 1982 and helped develop the 2004 Acura TL, will be charged with drumming up demand for Acura's luxury sedans.

Tetsuo Iwamura, Honda's North American head, has previously stated that the company needs to focus on improving sales of its Acura line of vehicles. Acura's SUV lineup, which includes the compact RDX and larger MDX, has been selling well, but deliveries of the brand's ILX, TSX, TL and RLX sedans have slipped by 10 percent.

One of Berkman's first chores as head of the ABPO could be to give Acura a better brand identity.

"Acura for many, many years has been a brand without an identity," Ed Kim, an industry analyst for AutoPacific, told Bloomberg. "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."

Acura recently released its all-new RLX flagship sedan and a totally revised TLX - which will replace both the TL and TSX - will hit showrooms later this year. Honda has vowed to update the slow-selling ILX by next year. A high-performance NSX coupe is also on tap for the near future.

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