Acura – The First Japanese Luxury Brand of Vehicles
Acura is the name of the luxury brand of vehicles produced by the Honda Motor Company. It was the first such brand ever produced by the Japanese and, even though it is still young, it enjoys a great popularity. The Acura vehicles were first introduced only on the American and Canadian markets in 1986. Five years later they were also sold in Hong Kong. In 2004 they were made available for the Mexicans and in 2006 for the Chinese. Even though the company planned to launch Acura on the Japanese market in 2008, these plans were delayed because of the economic crisis.
Acura was one of the most popular luxury vehicles in the United States. The first models, Legend and Integra, were particularly successful and have set the trend for the competition. In response, Toyota came up with Lexus and Nissan put Infiniti on the market. In the late 90s the sales of Acura decreased significantly. Some experts considered that this was the fault of the less inspired designs such as Vigor which was put on the market in 2002. Also in the 90s Acura decided to change the nomenclature of its vehicles. Instead of being called Vigor, Legend or Integra, the cars had names like 3.5 RL or 2.5 TL. Some voices claimed that this nomenclature was not so popular with the customers and was harder to remember.
The brand was revived in the early 2000s once several models were redesigned. In 1999 Acura developed the 3.2 TL model which was an inspired combination between luxury and sportiness at a very competitive price. Following models enjoyed the same popularity and nowadays Acura is commercializing the ILX, the MDX, the RDX, the RLX, the TL, the TXS and the ZDX models.
Acura is now marketed with the slogan Advance, even if the initial slogan was Precision Crafted Performance. The logo of the brand is a stylized A which also looks like a skewed H, so it can stand for both Acura and Honda.