Honda Motor Company comes full circle today with the announcement that the automaker's upmarket brand, Acura, will be sold in the company's native Japan come 2008. Acura was originally started in the U.S. as an end-around to the perception that Honda (and Japanese car companies in general) couldn't command luxury dollars or market share.
Now, with Japan finally finding its way out of economic recession (as evidenced by a 57-percent uptick in luxury automobile sales last year), Honda is following Lexus back home in 2008. Toyota?s upscale division has been selling in Japan since August, and is roughly on target to meet its 20,000 unit goal by the end of the calendar year.
In related news, Honda will aggregate its 2,400 dealers to cut costs. Where once domestic sales had been subdivided into three distinct channels: ?Clio? (mid-size and larger cars like the Accord, Legend, etc.); ?Verno?, (SUVs), and ?Primo? (smaller vehicles like the Civic and Fit), in recent times the manufacturer has been cross-selling more and more models. Today, almost half of all lines are sold across all three channels, and over the next few years the divisions will fade away. This consolidation effort will be buttressed by 100 Acura dealers added to the mix, bringing the total network to 2,500 outlets.