ORLANDO, Fla. -- When Acura redesigned its flagship RL in 2004, it loaded on the goodies: all-wheel drive, navigation system, 10-speaker stereo and radar that warns drivers of an impending crash.
It has a price tag to match: $49,915 with shipping, about $6,000 more than the previous-generation RL.
Now Acura has concluded that its slow-selling flagship needs help.
The division is considering a lower-content version of the car, some dealers say. Sales chief Dick Colliver told Automotive News that the RL's content will change next year but gave no details. He acknowledged that the RL "hasn't performed to expectations."
The RL lacks a V-8 engine, an amenity expected by many luxury buyers.
"It's at a price point in foreign territory for us," Mike McGrath, chairman of the Acura dealer council, said at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention here. "Maybe Acura doesn't have the brand image" to sell a vehicle at that price.
McGrath said the dealer council has recommended a model with less content. "It only comes one way: loaded," he said. "We need something in the low to mid-40s."
The redesigned RL was introduced in October 2004. In 2005 it substantially outsold the previous-generation model. But sales have slipped. In the four months ending January 31, Acura sold 4,899 RLs, down 25.6 percent year-over-year.
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