DICK COLLIVER, ACURA EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 2001
Good morning everyone and thanks for joining us. We're glad to be here in this great city again. New York is where Benny Goodman made the classic tune you just heard a huge hit in the '40s -- and we've got another hit in store for you today, as you'll see in a few moments.
But first, since this is April and we've just completed the first quarter of 2001, I want to share with you the fact that Acura is off to a fast start. We continue to enjoy more record sales for our division. And we're right on track to reach our 2001 sales goal of 170,000 units. In fact, March was the best sales month in the history of Acura.
What's the reason behind this good fortune? It's really pretty simple. Our engineers continue to develop a steady stream of precision-crafted performance vehicles. Vehicles that are striking a responsive chord with today's driving enthusiasts.
Our TL was a major hit the moment we rolled it out in Fall of '98 - and it continues to be the number one selling near-luxury sedan. The new CL redefined what a luxury sport coupe should be, and it too is the number one seller in its category. The MDX has set a new benchmark for luxury SUVs. Demand continues to exceed supply. And, with other products, we continue to keep the pressure on the marketplace and on our competitors.
Our new 2002 RL, TL and TL Type-S were just released last month and they represent major improvements over the cars they replace. All of which brings us to today - and yet another exciting new product launch.
In January, at the Detroit Auto Show, we showed you a prototype of the vehicle that would ultimately replace the Integra. Today, you're going to see the real thing. The production model. The exciting new sports coupe from Acura that pushes the automotive performance envelope even further. A groundbreaking new sports car that builds on our outstanding racing and performance heritage - and that will attract a whole new generation of buyers.
Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing the all-new 2002 RSX from Acura! The RSX is designed to deliver best-in-class performance, Best-in-class luxury, And best-in-class features and amenities.
The RSX offers innovative high performance engines, a wealth of luxury appointments, a driver-oriented cockpit, advanced safety features, and striking styling. The RSX has exactly what today's youthful, discriminating driving enthusiast is looking for.
Take a look. Looks sexy doesn't it? As I said earlier, we're proud to introduce this great new 'RSX in the City.' I think we have another hit on our hands. The RSX was designed and built to deliver a true, race-bred driving experience because performance is the hallmark of the Acura brand - the common denominator that links all of our products - and which makes this sporty coupe a vital new member of the Acura family.
RSX is important to Acura because it will provide us with a gateway to lifetime owner loyalty as young buyers find a home at Acura - and then move up through the product line. No longer do we have to worry that our young coupe customer has no place to go when it's time to step up. In the Acura of today, a buyer whose lifestyle maybe be changing -- but who still wants performance -- can move up into a CL coupe or TL sedan without breaking the bank - and without feeling like he's left his youth behind.
In short, we now have a stair-stepped progression of high-performance luxury automobiles that will allow us to keep customers in the Acura family. And it all starts right here - with the exciting RSX sports coupe.
Compared to the car it replaces, the RSX is designed to move us further upscale, and appeal to those buyers who are in the upper echelons of this market segment. Who will buy this new RSX?
- 27 years old
- College degree
- $60,000 household income
The target buyer is 27 years old, with a college degree and $60,000 in average annual household income. They are affluent, lead active lifestyles, and are definitely trendsetters.
RSX: 60% male
RSX Type-S: 80% male
We anticipate about 60% of the RSX buyers to be male, with 80% male for the RSX Type-S you see here on stage. The new RSX will be launched in July, and we expect it to compete successfully with the likes of competitors such as the new sporty coupes from Audi, Mercedes and BMW. We'll build 30,000 annually, and we're confident we'll sell them as fast as we can build them. Although pricing has not yet been established, we expect to see the RSX range between $20,000 and $25,000.
The RSX can take your driving experience to a higher level. And, with the RSX, we continue to further integrate our Acura brand under the umbrella of performance. No matter what your age or income - if you're an automotive purist and a driving enthusiast - Acura is where you need to be. Now, I'd like to invite you all to take a closer look at our new RSX.
I'll be around to answer any questions you may have. And again, thank you joining us here today.