It has been six months since Acura, Honda¡¯s independent luxury brand, hit the Chinese market. Up to early April, however, only 150 Acuras had been sold, one-tenth of the monthly sales of Lexus ¨C
All the above three Japanese luxury brands have scored beautifully in the
Acura in a funk
Due to Acura¡¯s disappointing performance, one of its dealerships offered a deep discount of ¥32,000 ($4,211) for the Acura TL.
“Our sales and orders have been quite limited for months. So we are beginning to offer discounts on the Acura TL and RL,¡± A dealer told the reporter. ¡°Up to late March and early April, Acura had sold 150 units in total.¡± The figure was confirmed by the spokesperson of Honda Motor (
Meanwhile, Acura¡¯s independent distribution channel has not expanded according to the plan. Early in May last year when the brand was launched in
“Acura is not a household brand in China yet, and it rushed into the market anyway, (that¡¯s why now it¡¯s stuck in low sales),¡± explained the Acura dealer. ¡°Unlike Lexus, which had been warming up for the Chinese market for years before its official launch, Acura rushed into
Lexus on the rise
While the Acura boat is still trapped in the harbor, the Lexus ship has sailed a long way ahead.
Meanwhile, Lexus¡¯s distribution network has also been expanding. When Lexus first hit the Chinese market in March 2005, it had six dealerships, selling the LS430 RX series, the GS430 and GS300. With an average sales of 700 to 800 units a month, total sales volume in 2005 was estimated at 6,000, ranking fourth in luxury car brands, after Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
With a good start in 2005, Lexus quickened its pace to boost sales in 2006, adding eight more dealerships with sales hitting 13,000. Statistics released in Lexus¡¯s advertisements showed that 23 Lexus dealerships had been established by May 2007. And its distribution network continues to expand. Lexus¡¯s franchised stores will reportedly reach 30 this year. Even by conservative estimates that each store sells 700 units, Lexus will hopefully sell over 20,000 this year, close to the 22,000 figure of Mercedes-Benz.
Infiniti on the way
Inspired by Lexus¡¯s success, followers are never intimidated by Acura¡¯s setback. Infiniti, Nissan¡¯s luxury brand, finally decided to explore the Chinese market, which has a growing appetite for luxury cars.
Nissan Motor (
The newly appointed director of Nissan (
The G35 will be priced between ¥450,000 and ¥500,000 while the FX25 and FX45 between ¥650,000 and ¥800,000. All the models are developed and produced in
Three Infiniti dealerships will be opened in
Rewritten by Louise Liu based on the authors¡¯ story published in Diyi Caijing Ribao (China Business News)