A sodium pentothal-loaded needle might be nice every now and again when auto executives lend predictions; that or a crystal ball, and here’s why.
Some months ago, Acura hosted a press drive for its now-available ILX entry-level luxury sedan. At the time, Acura vice president Jeff Conrad was more than confident about the car’s future sales. So confident, in fact, that he projected the ILX and RDX would boost brand sales 45 percent. Travel six months into its lifespan and there’s less reason to be optimistic. Not surprisingly, Acura isn’t ready to concede.
“Customers are learning about ILX through our marketing efforts and by the good work of the Acura dealers as they help us spread the word about the sporty package the ILX offers buyers. As awareness builds, we expect sales to grow as well,” Acura spokesman Chuck Shifsky said.
Momentum, he said, is building for the car. Acura shipped 7,658 units from the point in May when sales kicked off through October – an off month for the industry as a whole. The car saw fewer than 1,000 takes in the first month, but that grew to around 1,700 units at the car’s peak in August and September. Last month, sales dipped slightly — to around 1,500.
To be fair, the ILX doesn’t reflect brand sales overall. In fact, sales have been climbing for Acura (up 27.6% year to date), buoyed buy unexpectedly high demand for the RDX. Initially, Acura predicted the two cars would account for 55,000 unit sales with 15,000 expected of the crossover. That’s hardly been the case with Acura reporting 82.7 percent increased RDX sales over last year and with two months left to go in 2012, volume has already reached 22,460 units.
Those strong numbers are helping to shore-up Acura’s overall growth targets, with the ILX meant to ship 40,000 units within the first 12 months. Shifsky didn’t specifically say the ILX wasn’t on track to meet that figure, but he didn’t confirm it either.
More: Acura ILX Sales Falling Short of Expectations on AutoGuide.com