Acura dealers, hit hard by last year's inventory crunch, can expect a normal flow of new vehicles in 2012, said George D'Angelo, chairman of the Acura National Dealer Advisory Board.
Acura is stepping up production this year after two natural disasters -- an earthquake and tsunami in Japan and flooding in Thailand -- forced it to cut output in 2011.
First-quarter production will be up over the same period a year ago, said D'Angelo, who owns an Acura dealership in Larchmont, N.Y.
Dealers also will get two entry- level models in the spring: the new ILX sedan and the redesigned RDX crossover.
"We need to get off to a fast start in 2012," D'Angelo said.
Last year, Acura's U.S. sales dropped 8 percent from 2010, falling to 123,299 for the full year.
Brand executives are trying to reverse that slide and have set a U.S. sales goal of 180,000 vehicles in 2012. That goal, if reached, would translate to a 46 percent sales jump over the prior year.
Getting dealers more inventory will be important to achieve that goal, D'Angelo said. Right now his dealership's inventory is running at about a 60-day supply, and he would like it closer to 80 days.
The Acura brand as a whole averaged a 51-day supply for 2011, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
D'Angelo added: "I think in 2012 you'll see the number be in the 70-day supply range."