Honda to introduce the Acura luxury brand in Japan
Automotive giants Toyota decided to bring their luxury brand Lexus to their home market Japan earlier this year. This decision has led to Honda also planning to bring their own luxury brand Acura in the Japanese market sometime in 2008. Honda is also facing competition from other luxury carmakers like Mercedes Benz and BMW in their home market and can no longer afford to play it nicely with their existing brands in their domestic market.
Honda currently only sells the Acura brand models in the North American market and the decision to bring it to Japan poses many challenges to the company. They would begin by setting up around 100 dealerships for this new brand in the Japanese market. The company said in a statement: “This will enable Honda to achieve further growth and take a big step forward in Japan.â€
Honda has not set themselves a target yet for their worldwide sales of models of their Acura brand. The company sold around 743,000 units globally in 2004. That number is expected to take a beating this year as the first 11 months this year has seen sales of only around 661,500 units. However, market experts believe that selling Acura branded cars would add onto profit margins of Honda in their home market.
To prepare for launching the Acura brand in Japan, Honda is planning to merge its three domestic sales channels — Primo, Clio, and Verno — into one Honda channel next March. And this would mean that after a very long period, all Honda models would be available from a single dealership of the company. This should help the consumer in Japan to go in for a model from the company at his preferred dealership.