2012 New York International Auto Show Press Conference Remarks
Hey everyone... it's great to see all of you.
Thanks for joining us today.
2012 has already been quite a year for Acura, and today we're taking another major step forward in the continued revitalization of the Acura brand.
In a moment, the president and CEO of American Honda, Mr. Tetsuo Iwamura, will take the stage for the world debut of our all-new Acura flagship vehicle -- the fourth new Acura model that we have introduced since the start of this year.
We kicked things off in January with the introduction of three new concept models.
The second-generation RDX...the all-new gateway to the brand, the ILX sedan...and, of course, the ultimate expression of Acura performance, efficiency, and technological sophistication, the next-generation Acura NSX supercar.
As for an update, we launched production of the RDX last month at our East Liberty,
And the new ILX and ILX Hybrid begin rolling off the assembly line at our Greensburg, Indiana plant in just three weeks.
Both of these plants, incidentally, are at the top of the quality rankings, having earned Silver and Platinum awards, respectively, in the 2011 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.
And development for the next-generation NSX is now in full swing, led by our R and D centers in the United States, with planning underway to build it in Ohio as well.
We also leveraged the excitement surrounding the NSX with Acura's first-ever Super Bowl ad, which saw two fellow car nuts named Leno and Seinfeld jockeying to be the first NSX owner.
The ad continues to generate an incredible amount of buzz for the brand and our products.
And another special Acura supercar will take a star turn next month in the blockbuster film "The Avengers."
Before we unveiled the NSX Concept in Detroit, a number of you speculated that the car spotted right here in Central Park in the company of Iron Man Tony Stark was actually the new NSX.
Well, not exactly, but pretty darn close. The appearance of an Acura model in 'The Avengers' -- even one that won't be on sale, further leverages Acura's ongoing association with the Marvel superhero franchise, which has seen Acura vehicles in both the second 'Iron Man' installment and in last year's Captain America and 'Thor.'
Acura's role in this incredibly successful film series gives us the opportunity to engage our customers in an entertaining way.
And we're leveraging this relationship across all media platforms and throughout the Acura product lineup.
As one example, here's a special look at a new commercial for the 2013 RDX that plays to Acura's comic-book-hero status.
So, we're trying to have a little fun. But we all know that distinctive marketing is tough to sustain without distinctive products.
That is why it was so important that we design products around our core values, with a focus on creating a human-centered synergy between a vehicle and its driver.
We are now creating the right products for luxury customers in each segment of the market.
Based upon on our own unique values, we are focused on timeless and beautiful design intended to evoke an emotional connection where consumers desire to be seen in an Acura.
We will provide value for money on a luxury scale, and we will again defy conventional wisdom by creating luxury vehicles that provide the ideal balance of performance and fuel economy that is right for each product.
This means a driving experience that is dynamic and emotional -- that provides the driver a feeling of connection to the product, to the road, and to the world from the very moment they enter the vehicle.
The all-new Acura flagship is the next expression of our focus on "human-centered synergy," and here to deliver it to you, it is my pleasure to introduce the President and CEO of American Honda, Mr. Tetsuo Iwamura.
Thank you, Mike, and thank you everyone for joining us this afternoon.
As we set out to create this new Acura luxury sedan, our goal and our challenge was to create new value with a luxury sedan that is right for these times.
On the high seas, the flagship is a fast, agile and technologically advanced craft that carries the fleet commander and provides leadership and clear direction for the rest of the fleet.
And that is precisely the role of the new Acura flagship sedan.
We have created a true luxury sedan based on our own Acura DNA.
This means achieving a high level of performance through engineering efficiency to fulfill our direction of human-centered synergy.
To symbolize this new mission, we have re-christened Acura's top sedan the Acura RLX.
And it will get more than a new name.
We're giving the RLX a host of new technologies befitting its status as the flagship of the Acura brand.
Inside and out, on the open road or city streets, the sophisticated and elegant Acura RLX will offer a level of connectivity, comfort and performance demanded by today's luxury buyers.
But before I get into details, let's take a first look at the world debut of the all-new Acura RLX Concept.
This all-new RLX Concept is a true flagship that delivers on the smart values of the Acura brand -- offering both first-class comfort and superior value, incredible connectivity and intuitive control. And above all else, high fuel efficiency and an exhilarating driving experience.
We believe that people should be at the center of automobile design.
Based on this, the Acura RLX interior concept is a "gracious host" with a spacious and comfortable cabin typically associated with a much larger luxury sedan.
This was made possible by our packaging technologies, which is one of our distinctive strengths.
And consistent with the Acura brand promise that time is a luxury, the new RLX will feature the next generation of the AcuraLink telematics system.
This system provides superior connectivity through an on-demand touch screen with access to infotainment, security assistance, concierge support and much more.
But, it is the outstanding driving experience that will define this new Acura flagship sedan.
To achieve it, we are equipping the RLX with the Acura Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system that is based on the system we introduced in Detroit on the NSX Concept.
This new Sport Hybrid system is designed to perform "at the will of the driver" to maximize their ability and optimize the joy of driving.
This will be a signature technology for Acura, and it will debut in the marketplace with the RLX sedan.
The Sport Hybrid system joins forces with an all-new direct-injected V-6 engine to generate more than 370-horspower.
This will give RLX V8-like acceleration with 4-cylinder fuel economy of 30 miles per gallon city/highway/combined.
In addition to the Sport Hybrid version you see here today, we also want to offer Acura customers outstanding handling and value in a 2-wheel-drive RLX.
The key to this model will be another new Acura technology that will debut on RLX that we call Precision All Wheel Steer.
The system will offer an unprecedented level of handling and control for a front-wheel-drive car.
At the same time, it will provide the all-weather performance, outstanding fuel economy and value for money associated with front-drive packaging.
Both RLX models reflect Acura's core brand values of advanced performance achieved through engineering efficiency.
This includes a very light and rigid platform, using high-strength steel and lightweight aluminum. And in addition to achieving outstanding collision safety, RLX will offer an extensive array of active safety and visibility technologies.
This Acura RLX Concept gives you a very strong indication of the direction for the production RLX that will go on sale at the beginning of next year.
While we are not ready to talk pricing, as you can see, it will deliver on the Acura brand promise of offering incredible value on a luxury scale.
And this is not the announcement for a new commercial, but I envision another fight between Seinfeld and Leno -- except this time, I get to decide who will be the first customer.
Again, thank you for coming. Now, I welcome you to the stage for a closer look at the new Acura RLX Concept.