adrianchew wrote: The ILX is a failure here, as far as attracting old Integra/RSX owners back to Acura ownership. But then again, we already know that the management has decided this crowd isn't worth it... even though its just plain stupid business sense to disregard past owners.
This makes no sense. That generation of owners are NOT buying cars like the ILX anymore. They have families and have moved on to SUVs or Minivans. Those of that generation that are single or with no kids have moved on to more powerful RWD cars from BMW, Infiniti or Lexus. So yes, Acura has not provided for those buyers because there are no RWD cars, but they have met many of those clients needs with the van and SUV offerings.
The ILX is for the next generation of entry level buyers. Kinda like where we were 20 years ago. It remains to be seen if it will fulfill these buyers' needs, but I think it has a chance of meeting some people's expectations even it it excludes us on TOV.
Colin, I agree thats what Acura believes. But I strongly disagree with you on your comment. I own more than one vehicle, and I still like to have a fun car. If we Integra owners haven't forgotten and are still here - and populating the internet - then we still exist (not just moved on to minivans). Look at those Vossen videos. The performance luxury market and aftermarket are alive and thriving. And Acura is missing out by ignoring its birthright. If 'sporty luxury' weren't bankable, then the real upswing of Audi, BMW, and Lexus's sporty offerings wouldn't be marketable. Acura had the opportunity to make a great Integra replacement (3 or 4dr) with good performance, near luxury, good mileage and a near luxury price. As gas prices go up, this should be a winning formula (as people scrutinize those lesser Audis poor mileage more). Mendel has just taken a lower, lazier road by pursuing these 'adult' cars. There is no such thing. Thats just his arrogance. There are only cars that sell, and cars that dont. I think its another AmHonda Mgmnt miscalculation, personally. Now, I'm not the 'expert' Mendel is, but I damned sure have a better professional track record... so believe/trust his (yet another) direction for Acura and this ILX? - I don't! And I don't believe these younger buyers are different AT ALL than younger buyers before, except they have no allegiance to Acura/Honda. Only the expectation of vehicles (in general) has changed, and ACURA has changed. The rest is semantics and bravado from a company thats gotten far too comfortable doing just that. Im sick of hearing another HOnda or Acura exec shoot themselves in the foot by opening their mouths... and bashing their customer base. They need to get an f'ing clue about the market, their cars, and how to run a business.
sorry no disrespect to you Colin (truly). It pushed my button.
I couldn't agree with this statement more. Even Insideline did an article on "Gen Y" buyers. They are not like previous generations, but they are still people, and rational people are opportunistic and see value in everything they do, just like every human before them; regardless of generation.
The telling part of the article (which is largely true) is that they are very value conscious. They are also very brand loyal when they find a brand that they believe gives them the good value they seek. In that way, they are no different than the previous 40 years of buyers who have defined Honda's strong customer retention. People like to KNOW they are getting the value for their money, and they will often forego more frivilous stuff to get it. Cars are a big expense, and much like a house, people prioritize differently at purchase then when building a wish list. If Honda can't be that company to this generation, they are in trouble. The really troubling part is that the philosophy that was guiding them 20-30 years ago was spot on what would have attracted these younger buyers. Small, efficient, easy to own, easy to maneuver cars that were easy on the wallet, but insanely fun to drive. The old Honda cars that unquestionably made you feel like you got more than you paid for. They weren't fast, they weren't prestigious, they weren't the most adventurous in styling or features, but they sure did pack a lot of value for the money, had leading edge technology, and managed to be so well rounded and well built that you didn't notice the relatively lackluster performance. Truthfully though, relative to their peers the performance wasn't really that lacking.
I think a good way to decipher this gen Y stuff is to look back at the generation of the Great Depression, as the growing up environment for many of them has been the same. They tend to be more risk averse, use less credit, and shop more within their means. That means cheaper, smaller cars. A lot of them are also less turned on by outright performance because of their environmental position. I also believe that as the economy recovers, we will see more of them not putting off car purchases for as long, simply because they will perceive that they have enough security to finally get one.
Which leads me back to the Edmund's article. It talked about how they are putting car purchases off longer, are having a hard time finding a hold in society, but when they do talk about cars they would LIKE to own, often, the traditional yardsticks come up; such as the 911.