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Archive for October, 2014

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Acura recently announced that it will be making all-wheel drive a standard feature on all of its cars. This is another attempt by the manufacturer to find a niche that it can appropriately fill in order to really take off. While sales have been steady for many years, they really want a feature that is going to make them stand out from the crowd and attract a new audience. If you are interested in getting a new Acura, check out Chapman Acura as you can find what you are looking for in a new car.

This isn’t to say that that is necessarily a bad thing. Marketing is important to making cars, and even the best cars will fail if they can’t find buyers who are not only willing to support it, but will continue to be loyal to the brand long after they’ve had their first one. If anything, they need generational support, and this appears to be the first step toward creating a movement.

In fact, Acura’s top global executive Koichi Fukuo specifically referenced the “Subaruist” tag that many loyal Subaru drivers use in order to better articulate his vision on what this move will do, dubbing fans of the Acura as “Acurists.” He’s hoping to turn this into a dedicated fan base using the all-wheel drive option as the jumping off point.

There’s at least a decent amount of evidence to suggest that this may be possible. For example, half of all Acura sales in the US are all-wheel drive options that are already offered on a number of their cars. It seems that the execs at the company feel that this indicates a specific need that they are willing to address. If you want an AWD or other Acura, you should check out Acura in Tucson.

The problem with this way of thinking is multi-fold, however. It starts with the idea that their primarily luxury-oriented demographic is concerned with all-wheel drive. Yes, there were certainly a lot of sales of it, but how many of them were not due to a specific attraction to that feature as opposed to other features that were included in vehicles that also happened to have it? All-wheel drive is more often associated with rugged driving, not luxury. Their chief competitor is Audi, which successfully launched an all-wheel drive campaign with “Quattro,” but that wasn’t their only draw.

Further, comparing themselves to Subaru seems a little out of place. Subaru was able to create that loyal fan base by being outside of the mainstream. Their image was crafted to be the cool outsiders who rejected convention from the very beginning. Acura has spent a lot of time trying to be the very image of the status quo, an insider’s car for those who want to be part of something special. Acura has none of the quirkiness of Subaru, nor the outsider appeal, and it seems strange that they think that all-wheel drive alone will be able to change that.

This isn’t to say that it isn’t a good move on Acura’s part. They’re trying to find something that will help them stand apart and it probably will help, but it’s only a first step in what should be a much more in depth look at their products and how they can build a fuller image.