The History of Acura
From 1987 To Today: An Acura History Overview
Updated September 3, 2018
In 1986 Honda Motor Company wanted to introduce a luxury marquee under the name of Acura. The vehicles Acura would offer would focus on Honda’s reliability as well as performance and luxury. This would be the first import luxury brand for the United States market. Honda Motor Company had worked with dealerships in order to prepare for the launch of their Acura lineup with a total of 60 participating dealerships. Acura would introduce the Acura Legend as its luxury sedan and the Acura Integra as its first two models. In the first year of sales Acura would sell 52,869 vehicles causing 90 more dealerships to submit their applications for Acura sales thus totaling 150 dealerships. The success of Acura’s sales in the first year we gain attention from other Japanese auto manufacturers such as Toyota and Nissan.
In 1987 Acura would introduce its Legend Coupe they would receive several accolades as well as the Legend sedan and Integra. Acura sales for 1987 would more than double over the previous year as 109,470 Acura vehicles would be sold through a continually growing network of dealerships it was now over 200. This would place Acura as the highest selling luxury import brand in the nation. With the continued success in the United States, Toyota and Nissan would soon introduce their lineup of Lexus and Infiniti vehicles.
As Acura’s sales continued to be class leading the company was working on introducing a flagship sports car that will utilize all the company’s technology in order to produce a reliable sports car that would compete against other foreign sports cars such as Porsche. The engine would utilize the company’s technology for electronically controlled variable valve timing. The vehicles chassis was an industry first as it utilized an all aluminum construction. The vehicles starting price of $65,000 would make the Acura NSX the most expensive Japanese car in history. In 1991 Acura sales would once again hit an all-time record of 143,708 vehicles being sold that year.
Through the years to come Acura would continue to receive many accolades for their vehicles and would continue to prosper until the mid-90s when sales of Acura vehicles would start to slow. The slowdown of Acura sales was due to several different variables throughout the company. With the rise of Lexus and Infiniti causing more foreign luxury competition would play a role in affecting Acura’s overall sales. Acura would also discontinue naming its vehicles with names such as Legend and Vigor and then resort to naming them by an alphanumeric nomenclature. The design of the time was also deemed by some to be less attractive than previous models causing fewer individuals to choose an Acura for their next vehicle. In the fall of 1998, Acura would introduce its redesigned TL model which would quickly become a popular model and help boost Acura sales figures.
In 2000 Acura would work on redesigning and introducing several new vehicles in order to refresh the company’s image. Acura would offer its first sport utility vehicle known as the MDX that would be built on Honda’s global platform that would also be shared with the Honda Odyssey and Pilot. The Acura MDX is to become a successful vehicle for Acura as well as when several accolades such as Motor Trend’s sport utility vehicle of the year. In 2001 Acura would release its next-generation compact sports coupe known as the RSX as a 2002 model. The vehicle would take over the place of the long-running Integra. Both of these vehicles would contribute to Acura breaking another sales record as the company sold 170,469 vehicles.
2004 would prove to be a big year for Acura as the company would introduce third-generation Acura TL as well as the all-new TSX. Acura would also introduce a redesigned RL will feature several technological and engineering improvements over the previous generation. These improvements would include Acura’s all-wheel-drive system that utilized the company’s super-handling technology. The RL would also be the first vehicle to offer real-time traffic information as well as hands-free operations. These models would prove to be successful sellers for the company. Acura would also open up operations and dealerships in Mexico that year.
Acura as well as other luxury automotive manufacturers have been affected due to the American and global financial recessive period. Acura has also had to go up against rising competition from Lexus as well as other luxury automotive manufacturers. Acura is also had to deal with slower sales as customers deemed some of Acura’s designs to radical and contemporary. This led to Acura refreshing many of its vehicles in order to tone down the looks and regain sales. Today Acura offers six models in its vehicle lineup. These models include the RL, TL, TSX, ZDX, MDX, and RDX. There is also the upcoming ILX and the return of the next-generation NSX. With the NSX, Acura is working to reclaim its hold as being able to deliver cutting-edge technology to the general public. As we saw with the first-generation Acura NSX that delivered the technology of VTEC we should see the latest NSX giving us a glimpse of the technology to come throughout the Acura lineup.
Categories: Production Cars