Acura will have more fresh product coming this year to maintain momentum after its first year-over-year U.S. sales increase since 2015.
Henio Arcangeli Jr., senior vice president of the automobile division of American Honda Motor Co., told dealers in the Acura make meeting at the NADA Show that the brand will bring back its Type S sport packages over the next 24 months. Type S trims emerged in the early 2000s with enhancements such as sport-tuned suspensions, spoilers, higher horsepower tunings and restyled grilles, headlights and wheels.
Acura also will deliver a redesigned TLX this year, followed by a new-generation MDX in 2020.
The revamped TLX will come in four- and six-cylinder versions, said dealers who attended the meeting.
Retailers have pushed Acura for new product in the past few years. The June arrival of the redesigned RDX crossover ignited brand sales and improved dealer profitability, Arcangeli said.
Acura dealers posted a 21 percent improvement in profitability last year, thanks to brisk RDX sales, he said at the meeting. U.S. retailers tallied 63,580 RDX sales last year, an increase of 24 percent from 2017.
Acura's 2018 U.S. sales rose 2.8 percent to 158,934.
"This is a little bit of a different story for Acura dealers right now," said Alan Dibre, who owns Acura of Bay Shore and Acura of Wappingers Falls, both in New York, and Honda of Hackettstown in New Jersey, and is president of the Acura National Dealer Advisory Board. "For the past few years, we've had some stale product to work with. The dealer board has been very vocal with the manufacturer about our need for new product. And now we're seeing Acura management deliver on making it happen."
Factory officials also told retailers that Acura will begin featuring its ILX sedan in TV commercials for the first time this year.
The nameplate received a significant freshening and a lower price for 2019. Arcangeli said the ad push will figure prominently during the March Madness national college basketball tournament.