It’s been a long journey for Acura, the Japanese luxury and performance brand that started the concept of a Japanese luxury brand when it debuted in 1986. Beating its home-country rivals, Lexus and Infiniti, to market by 3 years, Acura launched with the tagline “Precision Crafted Automobiles”. By 1990 Acura’s annual sales topped BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus, with its two core models, the compact Integra and larger Legend, readily embraced by U.S. buyers.
Over the following 30 years the success of Acura, as seen by its sales, products and reputation, has remained relatively strong. Lexus consistently sells more vehicles, Infiniti consistently sells less, with Acura’s performance image benefitting from models like the first- and second-generation NSX performance coupe, the early Integra Type R and the recently re-introduced “Type S” performance trim seen on both sedans and SUVs.
The company also introduced a modified version of its original tagline in 2016, shifting from “Precision Crafted Automobiles” to “Precision Crafted Performance” just as the second-generation NSX was coming to market. Over the past 5 years the brand taken an increasingly performance-oriented approach, as seen in both its consumer product and its successful racing endeavors, including a partnership with Roger Penske and multiple championships in just the past few years.
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Our interview with Jon Ikeda, Vice President and Acura Brand Officer, looks at Acura’s past, present and future, including the return of Integra in 2022.