Honda is worried about its Generation-Y consumers, who are likely to be the first generation in modern times to earn less than their parents. While these customers aspire to luxury, they need help from automakers in getting there.
So says Michael Accavitti, Honda’s vice president of U.S. marketing, in an interview with Bloomberg News. Enter the 2013 Acura ILX, a near-luxury sedan set to replace the aging Acura TSX.
While the TSX was based on the Honda Accord, the ILX will be built from Honda’s Civic platform. Acura hasn’t used the Civic as a base for one of its sedans in the United States since the four-door Acura Integra was discontinued in 2001, but has sold the Civic-based Acura EL (and later, CSX) sedan in Canada since 1997. As with the current CSX, using the Civic platform will be the key to containing the ILX’s cost.
The ILX will start at “well under” $30,000, a price point that the outgoing TSX sedan simply couldn’t reach. Three powertrain options are planned, including a 2.0-liter four-cylinder coupled to an automatic transmission, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual and a 1.5-liter four linked to Honda’s IMA hybrid system.
All will be built in Honda’s Greensburg, Indiana plant, alongside the Honda Civic. The hybrid Acura ILX will be the first hybrid built by Honda in North America, as all Honda Civic Hybrids have been imported from Japan to date.
Acura has ambitious plans for the ILX, and hopes to sell some 40,000 units annually. To put that number in perspective, Acura has sold some 27,389 TSX models through November, which works out to be just under 30,000 units per year. In other words, Acura expects the new ILX to deliver 33.3 percent more sales than the outgoing Acura TSX.
Look for the 2013 Acura ILX to debut at January’s Detroit Auto Show, with sales beginning around the second quarter of 2012.
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