Honda Is Optimistic, Launches Acura-Branded Financial Service
The Japanese company sees the creation of Acura Financial Services (AFS) as a major milestone in Acura history and as a first step “to enhance customer service and raise the brand image for Acura”, as the press release delicately puts it.
"With our most recent ranking in the top two, three and four positions in the luxury lease segment of the 2008 J.D. Power and Associates Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study, the timing is perfect to utilize our years of experience and expertise to create financial services that will meet the needs of Acura clients," said Stephen E. Smith, senior vice president of AHFC, American Honda Finance Corp..
"The creation of separate Acura-branded financial services parallels other moves to strengthen and differentiate the Acura luxury brand," he added.
For those of you who for some unknown reason are not familiar with Honda's luxury brand in the US, the lineup features five models, including the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL luxury performance sedan, the TSX sports sedan, the turbocharged RDX luxury crossover SUV and the MDX luxury sport utility vehicle. The company also unveiled a prototype of the ZDX, an all-new luxury four-door sports coupe, at the New York International Auto Show that will go on sale this fall.
The optimistic US demand forecasts came from Honda Motor's president Takeo Fukui who told Detroit News reporters that the company expected to reduce its inventories to traditional levels of around 60 days' supply by June. It now has stocks exceeding three months' supply in the United States.
Given Mr. Fukui statement, we think it's only right to remind you that retail sales during the first 16 selling days in April were down by approximately 33 percent in the United States, representing a 30-year low.