LOS ANGELES -- Acura sales are climbing again after last year's earthquake-caused inventory crisis, but the launch of the ILX compact sedan has been a disappointment for Honda's premium brand.
Now Acura is planning a powertrain change for the ILX and will highlight technical features on the RLX flagship sedan due next spring as part of a strategy to return brand sales to the 200,000 level.
The ILX "is not hitting its sales expectations," said John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president.
The ILX is based on the Honda Civic platform. And although some Audis borrow from Volkswagen and some Lexus models take from Toyota, the ILX's roots may be a bit too evident against the BMW 1 series and Lexus CT 200h.
The car was meant eventually to replace the aging, slightly larger TSX. But November was only the second time since the May introduction of the less-expensive ILX that it outsold the TSX, which is still going strong.
The ILX is being outsold by the Buick Verano, Volkswagen CC and Audi A4, though it has an edge on the CT 200h and the outgoing Audi A3.
Last month Acura sold 2,108 ILXs, compared with sales of 3,574 Veranos, 3,343 A4s and 2,197 CCs.