"That's how we're going to grow the brand and the company, by getting that traffic into the showroom," he said. By this time next year, Center said, three-quarters of the brand's portfolio will be less than a year old. Acura officials are banking on redesigned and freshened products to help boost its U.S. sales as much as 6 percent in 2020, the chairman of the brand's dealer council said.
John Rickards, chairman of the Acura National Dealer Advisory Board and president of Bobby Rahal Automotive Group in Pennsylvania, said executives are targeting new-vehicle sales of roughly 167,000 this year. The brand sold just over 157,000 vehicles in 2019, down 1 percent from the previous year.
Acura will have the benefit of a full year of RDX compact crossover sales. Redesigned models of the MDX midsize crossover and TLX midsize sedan are set to go on sale this year.
The automaker has committed to launching performance variants and packages such as the A-Spec and the Type S, part of a framework agreement the brand rolled out a few years ago.
"The dealers are in great shape," Center said. "I think they're about to hit their stride."
Brand executives did not show new products at the meeting but promised to lift the curtain on some vehicles at a dealer show in New Orleans next month.
Rickards said dealer questions were at a minimum, although some asked whether Acura would suffer any parts shortages related to the coronavirus outbreak that could slow production. Executives said they did not envision any issues.
"There's a lot of vision right now and a lot of focus," Rickards said. "Ever since they laid out their framework agreement, they've been spot on. They're putting their money where their mouth is."