Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Profile : Acura Company

Acura is Honda's luxury brand. Exclusively developed for the North American (Canada, U.S.) and Hong Kong markets back in 1986, it has expanded into Mexico and China. The first Acura dealership will open in Japan in 2008.

Acura started strong with the now-defunct Legend and Integra with the former winning Motor Trends' Import Car of the Year award. The Acura NSX, which introduced to the world the now-famous VTEC engine, was considered the first serious attempt by the Japanese automakers to compete against exotic automakers Ferrari and Porsche. However, conservative designs of its vehicles like the RL (which replaced the Legend), coupled with weak power plants, pushed the brand into the background against competitors such as Audi, BMW, and Lexus in the 1990s.

2000 saw a resurgence of the brand. The MDX, Acura's first SUV, debuted and won Motor Trend's "2001 SUV Award of the Year." The long-in-tooth Integra was finally replaced by the European-based TSX sedan. The TL, which exemplifies the brand's "lots of standard features, few options" philosophy, is one of the best selling luxury vehicles in the U.S. And Acura has joined in the crossover craze when it debuted the 2007 RDX late last year.

Acura is the first Japanese luxury brand created outside the Japanese market. Both Toyota and Nissan established their own luxury lines (Lexus and Infiniti, respectively) due to Acura.

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