Acura’s New Boss Wants Exciting Sedans

Acura’s new general manager, Jon Ikeda, has recently talked about his plans for Honda’s luxury brand. While crossovers are in high demand across all segments, Ikeda says his eye is on the sedans.

“We should make sedans that people get excited about, just like when they look at this NSX here. That will be one of my first challenges with R&D, working with them to see what we could do to get that going,” Ikeda told Automotive News at The Quail last month.

While he declined to offer details about Acura’s plans for sedans, Ikeda said he was taking seriously the brand’s revival of its 1980s-era slogan: “precision crafted performance.”

“Every step we take with any product facelift, anything that we come up with is going to be geared toward that,” Ikeda said, adding that improving the performance and quality of Acura’s future models was essential.

Acura currently has only three sedans in its lineup: the compact ILX, midsize TLX and full-size RLX. That’s why it can’t compete with German luxury car manufacturers, which offer more sedans, most of which have additional variants such as wagons, coupes, convertibles and high-performance models.

Acura also needs a convincing flagship sedan to compete with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7-Series. The closest thing to that is the RLX (pictured), which sold just 3,413 units last year and has seen sales fall 38 percent this year through July.

However, having such a big lineup isn’t possible right now. For the moment, Ikeda’s task is to distinguish Acura’s offerings from regular Hondas and its luxury competitors. To do that, the executive wants to use technology and even styling cues from the NSX supercar for Acura’s mainstream sedans.

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