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  TOV News > Forbes.com article: "Acura: The Honda That Didn't" > > Re: Acura is arrogant.

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Banker
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Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 13:11
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As a financial analyst responsible for reviewing business and management strategies, I have to agree with the Forbes article. Acura is doing what it does best, building reliable cars that get good gas mileage. However they would do themselves a favor and look at the luxury market and see what people want. All you have to do is look at the Escalade's, Navigator's, H2's ML's X5's and the myriad of new luxury cars that are coming out with V-8 or larger motors to see that people don't really care about gas mileage. Gas mileage counts for Civics and Accords (which are excellent cars by the way) but not for luxury brands.

Someone else has already said that luxury car purchases are driven by emotion and bragging rights. Do you think that the average person purchasing an LS 430, STS, E Class, S Class, 5 Series or 7 Series is that concerned about gas mileage? Hell no. These cars often require premium fuel and get poor mileage in town. All of those cars are purchase by people who have an emotional response to that type of car. We won't even begin to discuss gas mileage with the large assortment of SUV's on the road. Gas mileage is the last thing that these people think of.

Honda/Acura needs to start working on its image and desireablitiy in order to truly compete. They also need to have more platforms to work with. Honda/Acura basically sells three levels of Accord. The TSX is the best thing Acura has done in years, too bad it isn't RWD. Lexus, Cadillac, Infiniti, Mercedes and BMW all offer RWD vehicles. The market demands it, yet Honda/Acura is arrogant enough to think it knows best.

If that is the case, then they will always be the sales looser. If a giant like GM can respond to the market demands of a sporty RWD car like the CTS (and STS in 2005) then Honda should be able to "get its head out of its ass" and do the right thing as well.

Prove me wrong and build a high performance RWD sedan with a V-8, six speed auto/manual that is reliable and get's better gas mileage than Cadillac, Lexus, MB, BMW and Infiniti. Do that and the automotive journalist and the folks at Forbes will be glad to drive and sing the praises of Acura... not defend it with mpg figures.

Atomic Frog
Profile for Atomic Frog
Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 13:22
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As a financial analyst, I'd suggest you take another look at the finances of the companies.

If I recall correctly, last year, Honda Motor Corporation made 3 TIMES the PROFITS of General Motors, world's largest car maker, manufacturer of the aforementioned Escalade, Corvette, etc. and a whole lot of V-8's. It was more profitable than Ford, also whipping out a bunch of V-8's.
All this on 1/3 the revenue.
It has a larger worldwide market share than BMW, I think.

Hmmm...if I were a shareholder, I wouldn't mess with Honda's strategy. As with most car company's, the flagship products rarely contribute much to the company's bottom line.

As a car enthusiast, I wish they come out with IMA hybrid-ized next-gen NSX.... :-)

How many people went out and bought a Neon because they couldn't afford a Dodge Viper?...uhh....
It's good for the company image, but it doesn't make a significant amount of people choose your "everyday" car. Having a V-8, RWD RL may sound nice, but it wouldn't change the buying decision of those who grab themselves an RSX.

broco
Profile for broco
Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 14:21
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.


Last edited by broco on 04-08-2003 14:22
broco
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 14:21
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Ahh there is the key, while everyone is rebating their profits away Honda just made profits... It is the coporate ideology that stops Honda from making trendy gas guzzlers. Priding itself as a "green" company performance must come with economy and efficiency. Anyone can stick a big engine in a big car and make a quick buck especially if they dont know how to make smaller more powerful and efficient powertrains.

V6VTEC
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 14:46
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How does Honda/Acura compare to Toyota/Lexus?
akal50
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 15:03
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Too bad you looked at the numbers for Honda. We're talking about Acura only. Factor out all the Honda products and just look at Acura profits and I'm sure you'll see a different picture.
Logic
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 15:15
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I am proud of Honda/Acura for taking a stand on the environment. I am proud that they refuse to make car that drink fuel like it unlimited supply. I am proud that Honda/Acura is trying thier best to cut down emission so that we can breath.

I don't think it arrogant that Honda/Acura refuse to follow the trend. I think is courageous and I will continue to support them on that ground. I will continue to buy Honda/Acura product for that very reason. Let think future here.. let think what the world would be like if we continue to take for granted fuel. Don't give me the "I am only one person arguement"..

Unfortunately, car is now a necesity to survive and if I can limit my impact on the environment and the air we breath.. I am all for it.

I think it arrogant for car manufacturer to ignore the impact of cars in the environment. I think it also arrogant for people to continue to think that we can keep abusing this planet until a global crisis happend and force us to change.



Last edited by Logic on 04-08-2003 15:16
akal50
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 15:26
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I wouldn't use the word arrogant. More like unsure. They don't seem to know what kind of car company they want to be. Do they want to be a luxury brand or do they want to be environmentally friendly? If their goal is to be a luxury brand, then their strategy makes no sense. You cannot be taken seriously as a luxury brand if your flagship doesn't even offer 8 cylinders or have RWD. Any business model has to recognize the demands of the consumer. You won't get very far if you're not willing to give the consumer what he wants. And as you point out, luxury car buyers don't care about gas mileage.

What's strange is that Acura sends mixed messages. They say they want to stick to "the Honda philosophy" rather than be like other car companies. But then they jump on the gas-guzzling SUV bandwagon. So either they're unsure or they're just hypocrites. While it's good that Honda is concerned with more than just profits, if I were a shareholder I'd be upset because Honda is missing out on a big market. Why have a luxury division if you're not even going to try to match your competition?

JMU R1
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 15:32
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I think both sides of the arguments have valid points.

Yes, the essence of Honda is efficiency, so if they feel they can extract the same or comparable performance from less they will do so. This primarily applies to their engines but you can see it in just about everything they do.

Thus, making a V8 for bragging right's sake is not something Honda would be very inclined to do. However, the problem Honda has with luxury cars is that luxury is about excess. Do 7 series owners really need a 6-liter V12? Do GS430 owners really need 300 hp? Does ANYBODY need an Escalade. No. But hey if Honda can get the performance out of a V6 with or without IMA, I'm all for it.

A more apt application for a Honda V8 would be a full-sized truck. It could have class leading emissions and fuel efficiency and comparable power. Lots of people who actually need trucks would love it for their business (or towing racecars =P ) because it could save them money and hassle. Think about, Ford sells 800,000 F150's a year. If Honda sold even a quarter of that they'd be sitting pretty. Then if they felt like it, they could slap variants of the engine/block in the next-gen MDX, RL, Pilot, and NSX. Still, if Honda can do the job with IMA or a V6, by all means do it.

Then there's RWD. I'm willing to bet that 90 to 95% of BMW owners don't even know what oversteer is. I imagine very few BMW owners drive their cars hard enough or well enough to be able to take advantage of the inherent benefits of RWD. Yet many belabor this point as a reason BMW is superior.

My take is that on a sports sedan like the M3 or M5, RWD is essential. For the 3 series, most people who buy them probably don't think of them as sports sedans but just the same that's part of the car's image. But again how many of these people turn the traction control off and go to the track? Sure, I see a good number of BMW's at the track but guess what? Almost all of them are M3's.

So no I don't think Honda should make the TL rear wheel drive. If the power starts creeping up to the point that FWD starts running into its fundamental limits then maybe AWD. For the RL AWD or RWD would be acceptable, because by default a flagship luxury sedan should have a lot of power.

For an entry level sports sedan I think Honda should have a RWD car so that it gives them more options on power and competition. Think about it, a RWD TSX could possibly have a variant that approaches the performance of an M3/S4/C32. But with FWD there is no way they can get there. Same with the CL, it should probably be RWD. It'd be a much more attractive sports tourer that way.

I think Honda is arrogant in some ways. Let's face it, EVERYONE knows that RWD is better for performance. Yet Honda insists on using FWD for all but their most focused hard core cars (S2000, NSX). I think Honda could benefit from loosening up a little. Just because other companies do it doesn't mean Honda should automatically discount it as something Honda shouldn't do. Fighting tooth and nail for FWD is almost as ignorant as those who fight tooth and nail against 4-cylinders. Each has their place and everyone should use them accordingly.

Banker
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 15:36
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My point exactly. Leave Honda out of the equation. Let's just look at Acura. Honda is now selling a broad selection of vehicles catering to market demands... (see pilot and the 2nd generation of the odessy). But this discussion is about Acura. That is all the guy in Forbes was refering to.
akal50
Profile for akal50
Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 15:39
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So where do you draw the line? If you make a car that gets 10 mpg, people criticize you for wasting fuel. But if you make a car that gets 20 mpg, everyone praises you.

The real arrogance is in the people who buy vehicles with no consideration for the environment. I don't blame Ford for making SUVs that only get 4 mpg. I blame the people who buy them for giving Ford a reason to make them in the first place.

Xavi77
Profile for Xavi77
Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 15:39
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Honda probably knows that they dont have the image to compete with LS430, 7 series, A8 and any thing in the class, thats why they perfer to focus on the lower end customer, such as A6, 5 series, and so forth.
Think about it, the Infiniti was soppose to competer with LS430 and we all know the outcome.
Is better that honda Built there image slowly.

Banker
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 15:45
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Finally someone who realizes that it is not the manufacturer who is to blame... it is the people who drive these huge beasts. We can't blame GM, Ford or Toyota for building so many large SUV's no more than we can blame Marlboro for Lung cancer. It takes a person to fill the 40 gallon tank of a Suburban and it also takes a person to light a marlboro light. People, not corporations are to blame. As you said, we the people are the ones giving them a reason to provide for our excessive wants.
Banker
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 15:45
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Finally someone who realizes that it is not the manufacturer who is to blame... it is the people who drive these huge beasts. We can't blame GM, Ford or Toyota for building so many large SUV's no more than we can blame Marlboro for Lung cancer. It takes a person to fill the 40 gallon tank of a Suburban and it also takes a person to light a marlboro light. People, not corporations are to blame. As you said, we the people are the ones giving them a reason to provide for our excessive wants.
Banker
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 15:49
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What are you talking about taking it slow?! Honda was the first of the Asian companies to have a luxury make... they just dropped the ball. As much as I don't like Lexus. They have, over time, proven that they do have "the relentless pursuit of perfection" They are now turning out high quality luxury sedans and SUV's that compete on the world stage. Not just at a green peace gathering. If Honda isn't going to be serious about competing like they were with the original Legend, then they should stick to making Accords under the Honda brand..

Logic
Profile for Logic
Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 15:50
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I know it sad but there is no line to draw.. but we can continue to improve our current technology to be more efficient. You are right that drivers are to be blame for buying such inefficient cars. I agree with you all the way. The one of the major reason why I support Honda/Acura current stand. I will continue to buy their product.
ChthonicPowers
Profile for ChthonicPowers
Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 16:09
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Atomic Frog wrote:
As a financial analyst, I'd suggest you take another look at the finances of the companies.

If I recall correctly, last year, Honda Motor Corporation made 3 TIMES the PROFITS of General Motors, world's largest car maker, manufacturer of the aforementioned Escalade, Corvette, etc. and a whole lot of V-8's. It was more profitable than Ford, also whipping out a bunch of V-8's.
All this on 1/3 the revenue.
It has a larger worldwide market share than BMW, I think.

Hmmm...if I were a shareholder, I wouldn't mess with Honda's strategy. As with most car company's, the flagship products rarely contribute much to the company's bottom line.

As a car enthusiast, I wish they come out with IMA hybrid-ized next-gen NSX.... :-)

How many people went out and bought a Neon because they couldn't afford a Dodge Viper?...uhh....
It's good for the company image, but it doesn't make a significant amount of people choose your "everyday" car. Having a V-8, RWD RL may sound nice, but it wouldn't change the buying decision of those who grab themselves an RSX.



But Honda has never been about stock numbers. atleast the original spirit of Honda.

Honda today is too much bogged down by sales figures. Toyota makes v8 RWD....while they may not make as much profit per car as Honda, but they r still among the top 5, I believe.

Jeff MGB
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 16:10
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One thing missing from this conversation is why Honda created Acura in the first place. The answer, I believe, then and now, is to give their loyal Honda buyers a place to go for a bigger, more luxurious, better performing, more prestigious car. Was it ever their intention to out-BMW BMW?

The other factor missing from this conversation is that, unlike Lexus, you can ONLY buy an Acura in North American. In other world markets the RL, RSX, NSX, S2000, etc., if sold, are sold as Hondas. It is a marketing program, not a specific brand of cars.

I believe these are two valid factors to consider when assessing Acura's success or failure.

Okay, having said that, I do wish that the bigger Acura sedans were better performers . . . AWD would be nice. It might also be nice if there was a $50,000 convertible to compete with the $60,000+ Euro sports cars, XK-8, SL, new 6-series, 911, etc.

One more thing, if 160,000 sales a year is failing, what does one say about Audi (VW), Saab (GM), and Volvo (Ford)?

DangerDog
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well, I only know that [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 17:49
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Honda/Acura makes about $2.5 billion in profit a year, Toyota makes about $4 billion a year.

Sales wise, Toyota/Lexus sells about 1.8 million vehicles north america compared to about 1.4 million for Honda/Acura.

Don't know the exact numbers, but those should be pretty close to the ballpark.

Quality wise, i would say they are almost identical. Personally I think as a whole, Honda is better than Toyota, Lexus is better than Acura. Just my humble opinion.

Cordv6
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 20:21
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All you guys talk about Acura's reason not to go V8+RWD is because of poor fuel economy, low margins, etc.

If Acura was concerned about fuel economy why did they bring out the MDX? that gets 18 mpg in the city.
Lexus LS 430 gets 19 mpg (I think) in the city.
So why bring out MDX? Bottomline is profits.
May be a V8 powered RL might not sell as well as an MDX.
But -
A branding image occurs when your flag ship sedan is recognized and respected, nevermind the actual sales numbers. It does good for the entire brand.

Acura IMO has it's head stuck in the ground at the moment with the RL.

rak
Profile for rak
Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 22:16
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Yo... Just wait till Acura rehauls the RL and renames it the Legend with AWD a iVTEC v6 with IMA and all the latest electronics. Then this discussion will be moot.. Also the DualNote (ie NSX next gen) will have even Ferrari looking over their shoulder.

Booya! :)

NSXman
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2003 22:29
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Fuel economy is relative. If I recall correctly, the MDX has the best fuel economy of any SUV in its class, or atleast did when it was brand new (even better than the Pilot). Let us also remember that the MDX is ULEV rated and it was right out of the gate.

You cannot compare gas milage figures for a car vs. and SUV. If a car is getting SUV gas milage, that is not really something to brag about. A car typically has less weight and a better drag coefficient than that of a typical SUV. Honda seems to have said with the MDX, "People, we know you want a Honda/Acura SUV, so we're going to build it and relative to all other SUVs it will still be better in fuel economy and emissions than other companies SUVs".

I must respectfully disagree with your last statement. If you want to compare apples to apples, at least red apples to green apples, look at the MDX versus the new GX470. Can Honda build a 4.7 V8? Most certainly. And the fact that they can and haven't is proof of what their current corporate philosophy is.

Forbes needs to respect a corporate philosophy. If you want to snap on bad corporate philosophy, nail Ford or GM who try to make money and don't. Honda isn't sitting around saying, "Oh, I wish I could build a RWD car with a V8, but I just can't do it." No, on the contrary, they are saying, "We could build one, but it violates what we believe in." It is easy to make fun of the conservative nature of Honda, when Lexus and Infiniti in my opinion are not as environmentally and resourse friendly as Acura, but give us great cars like the G35. Honda has their market and they fit it well. They do need to fix a few cars, yes, but so does most if not all car companies.

I think of Honda as not below other companies, but totally different, and out in another plane. I'm not saying they can do no wrong, because they can (can we say 2003 Civic Si?), but their direction and philosophy supercedes many other car companies, and most definately the Big 3.

DMP
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-09-2003 01:00
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At the end of the day, why does Honda bothers with Acura when it is doing so well just with Hondas? Honda is highly profitable, and has a market value that is more than the combined market value of GM and Ford!!!

If Honda wants to continue with Acura, then it should sell what the market wants ie. V8 engines, RWD, etc so that it can compete better with the other luxury makes. And why is Honda so resistant to commercially developing bigger engines when it is participating in F1 with V10 engines?? So Honda has the technology but somehow it refuses to commercialise it, why??

As for the names, Acura shld stick to the fanciful acronyms but at least use alphanumeric at least to reflect the CC, just like MB, BMW and Lexus.




Cordv6
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-09-2003 02:17
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Dude I like Acura too. But you are missing the point.
WHen I said MDX gets only 18 mpg, I am trying to say if you bring one vehicle that does 18 mpg, why not another?

BTW I do think Acura's V8 if they make one at all will better others in terms of economy.

NSXman
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-09-2003 16:55
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Because 18mpg of acceptable for a SUV, not a car. If a company thinks 18mpg is good for a car, then don't be surprised if they think 13mpg is good for a SUV (ie LX470, GX470, LandCruiser, etc).

Honda isn't perfect here though. The NSX and RL need some fuel economy work, atleast in my opinion.

dodole
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-09-2003 21:27
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Arrogant?? nah.. just conservative. cant make a mistake must look for future market.. just incase anything happen honda still can sell acura..look at these few years economy all time low some ppl still wanna buy lux car. if they can pay BMW they get BMW.. but for ppl who cant, acura is a good alternative.

well mpg?? nah its just something to show off like BMW can show of the lux and the great handling.. honda can prove to the world that there is economy car out there.



Last edited by dodole on 04-09-2003 21:27
enemy
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-13-2003 14:36
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I think Honda doesn't produce a V8 because they don't have enough vehicles that can use it. Right now, it would only be suitable for the RL and MDX. Two platforms for a whole new engine series is a bit underwhelming. I think Honda knows what they're doing. The proof is in the profits.

The market for a V8 Acura is probably not large enough to justify the development cost. I think Honda just wants to go their own way, and that's fine with me. It means more options for consumers. How many Mercedes/Lexus clone vehicles do we need?

osaze
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Re: Acura is arrogant --not ! [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-14-2003 19:51
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Acura is not arrogant, but conservative and ad hoc in its car making philosophy. The goal of Acura is not to build a luxury, V8 powered car to sate the needs of a luxury car buyers -- these will stay loyal to the German brands. Acura's aim is to retain buyers loyal to it's brand name and slowly implement technology transfer from it's coroporate motor sports programs to continue to build affordable, well-performing cars. Affordability and quality is the the goal of Acura, which I hope it improves in it's future models.
osaze
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Re: Acura is arrogant. [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-14-2003 19:54
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True!

 
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