Acura: RDX, ILX to fuel 19% gain in retail sales
ORLANDO -- Acura plans a 19 percent increase in new-vehicle retail sales in 2013, dealers were told at the make meeting.
The brand is counting on its RDX crossover and ILX entry-level sedan to drive sales this year, Acura General Manager Jeff Conrad told Automotive News after the meeting.
In 2012, RDX sales rose 94 percent to 29,520. Acura launched the ILX last year and sold 12,251.
"The ILX is No. 2 in its segment," Conrad said. "It's a bit of a new segment it plays in and we think that segment will grow."
ILX inventory is about 90 days, Conrad said. He and dealers want it to be 60 to 65 days.
To reduce ILX inventory, Acura is offering incentives and a lease program, and is slowing production, said Mac Churchill, president of Mac Churchill Acura in Fort Worth, Texas, after the meeting.
Churchill said executives told dealers the Acura ILX will get leather seats, power seats and a backup camera starting this summer to boost sales.
"We'd like to see it not impact the price, but adding that much content probably will," Churchill said.
Conrad and dealers say the launch of the 2014 RLX flagship sedan, which goes on sale March 15, also will drive 2013 sales. Acura was to have given each of its 265 dealers two RLXs by Friday, Feb. 15.
The early delivery was to help dealers continue training salespeople on the product and to allow dealers to promote the vehicle by offering test drives to customers.
"We want to make sure our people know the product inside and out," Conrad said.
So far, about 5,400 consumers have shown interest in the car, Conrad said. It will start at $49,345, including shipping.
"We're getting everyone schooled up," dealer Churchill said. "This gets everyone familiar with the car before it gets here."
Churchill says the early delivery was partly a dealer initiative for the launch.
He said dealers now must make the launch successful by getting customers behind the wheel for a test drive.
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