Acura plans for a big sales gain this year, buoyed mostly by the all-new 2013 ILX sedan. In addition to redesigned vehicles, Automotive News reports that Acura believes the ILX launch will help attract “Generation Y” customers and improve overall sales by 46 percent.
Acura had previously eliminated its sporty entry-level car, the RSX, which had replaced the Integra, in a bid to move the brand upmarket. That move failed when the credit crunch hit, causing customers to be more prudent and careful with their car purchases. However, Acura hopes its all-new ILX sedan will appeal to younger, more rational buyers who want a taste of the luxury-car segment.
“People are making more rational purchase decisions, taking pride in the deal they strike,” Acura general manager Jeff Conrad told Automotive News. “Generation Y [buyers aged 19 to 31] aspires to luxury, but they need a little help getting there.”
Many of those customers will be drawn to the ILX sedan, which will reportedly be priced around $27,000. Acura expects to sell 40,000 units of the ILX, and expects total 2012 sales of 180,000 cars. Last year, Acura sold a total of 123,299 vehicles here, down 8.0 percent compared to 2010. The company’s volumes were hurt by supply disruptions in the wake of Japan’s earthquake; without the natural disaster, Acura believes it would have sold 150,000 cars in 2011.
Following on the launch of the ILX, Acura also will launch redesigned versions of the TL sedan and MDX crossover for 2013. Acura also already has 3500 buyers whom are interested in the all-new 2013 RDX.
“We’re remaking the entire lineup over the next few years,” Conrad explained. “We’ve had a pretty strong reliance on sport-utilities and we want to bolster our sedans.”
Acura also must work on winning and keeping loyal customers. The brand’s loyalty rate is reportedly only 45 percent, below the 49-percent industry average. However, the age of the company’s average buyer is below that of competing brands.
To help draw in younger Generation Y buyers, Acura will focus on a few key areas coveted by those buyers: environmental responsibility, attractive styling, and in-car technologies like Bluetooth and Internet radio.
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