Honda Creates Acura Business Planning Division After Luxury Sales Slow
Among a series of management changes, Honda has also announced it is creating a new Acura Business Planning Office, potentially to help ramp up sales for the struggling brand. The new Acura business arm will "develop strategies aimed at accelerating the revitalization of the Acura brand," Honda said in a statement released today. Effective April 1, the division will be led by Erik Berkman, current Honda R&D chief for the Americas and soon-to-be executive vice president of Honda North America. He has spent 30 years with Honda in various leadership roles. While Honda posted top retail sales for the Accord, Civic, and CR-V last year, its Acura brand is lagging behind. Acura sedan sales dropped a combined 10 percent last year, with the TSX dropping almost 40 percent. Although we have enjoyed Acura cars including the all-new RLX Sport Hybrid, we think the nameplate is having a difficult time standing out from flashier brands like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Lexus. Hopefully the new business strategy will help better define Acura's brand image in a competitive marketplace. In its statement today, Honda also reiterated its commitment to increasing North America's role within the global Honda business. Honda North America is merging with Honda North American Services for a more cohesive North American team. It also announced that Takuji Yamada will be the new president of Honda North America and president and CEO of American Honda as well as the COO of North American Regional Operations. Tetsuo Iwamura will chair American Honda and become corporate brand officer for Honda Motor. Source: Honda, Automotive News
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