Acura Attempts to Find Direction and Purpose for Brand

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Jon Ikeda Acura general manager

Acura products and advertising haven’t aligned, according to General Manager Jon Ikeda.

Jon Ikeda, has found a tough pill to swallow in admitting that the company he manages has lost its way. As the general manager for Acura, Ikeda has seen a few things go astray with Honda’s luxury brand. It mostly involves a mismatched message from advertisers compared to the product line, and in trying to compare Acura to other brands like Lexus and Infiniti.

One thing is for sure, the section of comments on this report from Carscoops are quite alarming. As it’s pointed out a number of times, a company like Acura, with primarily front-wheel drive cars, couldn’t possibly have been looking at Lexus or Infiniti for a benchmark. As well, it seems to be that most people perceive Acura as being a bit behind these days on engine tech, and infotainment technology as well.

Jon Ikeda Acura general manager

Ikeda elaborated a little more, saying:

“We started to chase what was in, what the market was talking about more than staying true to ourselves. When you start benchmarking and looking at everything else, instead of looking introspectively, is where you lose your way. We’re a lot more truthful [now] to who we are and what we’re trying to be. I think it’s a growing pain we went through.”

 

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“Precision crafted performance” has been Acura’s motto as of late, but if that is what is disconnected from the cars actually in the showrooms, Ikeda certainly has a lot of work to do. Many are taking the stand that Acura’s lineup is just glamorized Honda products. However, at the same time, Honda’s own products have moved significantly up-scale.

Ikeda clearly has some work to be done, then. Is it an entirely fair assessment of Acura? Not really. We, of course, see many redeeming values and know the lineup contains a few gems. Perhaps it just needs more.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites for Internet Brands, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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