ORLANDO, Fla. -- Acura dealer profits, on average, were flat in 2005. But dealers were told at the make meeting that the arrival of the redesigned MDX SUV and the new RDX crossover this year should help.
The company introduced the RDX at the Detroit auto show in January. It will unveil the mid-sized MDX concept at the New York show in April.
But contrary to dealer pleas, neither a V-8 nor a convertible is coming any time soon.
"We have two meetings a year with the company, and each time we ask for a V-8 and a convertible," said Mike McGrath, chairman of the Acura dealer council and owner of McGrath Acura in Westmont, Ill.
"We've been asking for it because we believe luxury cars deserve a performance engine."
McGrath said dealers also discussed Acura's brand image, which "has been muddled."
Dick Colliver, sales chief for American Honda Motor Co., said Acura is in the midst of changing its image. That includes a new design center the company is building exclusively for Acura in California to separate it further from Honda.
Colliver said Acura needs to redefine its image and emerge as a more upscale brand. But he says the new direction for Acura does not include a V-8.
"We are working toward a new brand direction, but it does not include a V-8," he said. "And we have no plans to bring in very expensive four-door sedans."
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