Good afternoon everyone and welcome. These are certainly exciting times for
Within the past three months, we've successfully launched three important new products, and as we enter the 2007 model year, we are enjoying a string of record-setting sales months.
Beyond that, we have established a very strong and clear brand direction; one
that not only embraces our current product line-up, but demonstrates our vision
for the future.
And this focused direction of the Acura brand can be summed up in just one word, "Advance". But this word is not just a statement about the Acura brand; it's a statement about our customers' needs. It reflects Acura's commitment to always be ahead of the curve with customer relevant technologies and products that are easy-to-use, liberating and life-enhancing.
Let's be clear. I am not talking about one or two new features in a decade. The Acura brand has launched numerous major technologies within just the past three years.
Consider breakthroughs like Real-Time Traffic and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, industry-first applications of AcuraLink vehicle messaging, HandsFreeLink Bluetooth connectivity and DVD-Audio, and the industry's benchmark voice-operated navigation system.
These advanced technologies can truly transform life experiences, and our new products prove that in the real world, every day. I'm talking about products like the all-new RDX crossover SUV, an urban adventure vehicle equipped with Acura's first turbocharged engine, the second-generation MDX, a 7-passenger SUV boasting the most powerful Acura engine ever, and the exciting Acura TL Type-S performance luxury sedan which returns with more performance, sportier suspension and race-inspired styling. All in all, the 2007 product lineup is one of the most diverse and appealing in Acura's history.
These are the right products at the right time, and they are quickly finding a receptive audience among performance enthusiasts and luxury buyers all across the country.
But we're more ambitious than that. This year, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Acura brand, but not by looking back at the past. Acura is advancing in another way, by taking a step onto the global stage. But this isn't just about selling Acura products in other markets. In going global, we are expanding our commitment to the Acura brand here in America. We are devoting more resources to designing, developing and producing world-class vehicles for our customers here.
You can look for our U.S. operations to play a pivotal role - especially in the area of design. At Acura, we have a reputation for bringing products to market that are forward thinking and ahead of the competition. The Award-winning MDX, the innovative TL performance luxury sedan and the all new turbocharged RDX were all designed right here in Southern California at our design studios in Torrance. We call it "complete product creation." And that design and development ability will translate well on a global scale.
Our new L.A.-based Acura Design Center will open in early 2007 and it will take the lead role in Acura global design. Also, in a little over a week, we'll be opening our Advanced Design Studio in Pasadena that will look down the road 10 to 15 years and explore future trends - all to ensure Acura stays on the cutting-edge of automotive design. Through both of these studios, we'll be able to provide the brand with progressive, advanced styling from our L.A.-based designers. Styling that reflects the contemporary Los Angeles car culture which continues to drive the global marketplace in terms of design trends and customer expectations. Now, to celebrate our new design studios, and to support the theme of this year's L.A. auto show which is "design," we thought we'd bring you a glimpse into the future.
Let me ask you a question or two. When we talk about "Advance" ... what will the luxury flagship of the future look like? What will the captains of industry will be driving 10, or even 15 years from now? What design statement will a premium luxury / performance automobile make, say in the year 2020? Can we advance that far into the future? Can we solve that mystery? We have.
You're looking at the striking Acura "Advanced Sedan Concept" - our vision of the ultra-modern flagship of the future. Here to tell you more about the thinking behind this striking design study is its chief designer, and the head of our new Advanced Design Studio, Dave Marek.
Thanks, John. The primary purpose of this design exercise was to look, say, two generations ahead of where we are now. We wanted to capture the essence of an ultra-luxurious sedan, but give it a bolder, stealthier, more mysterious presence than contemporary vehicles. Our goal was to develop a car that a dozen years from now would rival a Bentley or a Maybach in terms of performance, luxury and visual impact. Actually, we just wanted to build the biggest and baddest luxury / performance sedan we possibly could.
As you can see, the concept features clean yet extremely modern and confident exterior lines, a wide, pronounced stance, along with several high-performance design cues and luxury accents. The car rides low to the ground and is anchored by large 22-inch front and 23-inch rear tires. The dramatically sculpted lower body design flows seamlessly all around the vehicle. The sheer lines and crisp keen edge surfaces that define the lower body are contrasted by a taut, sleek, architectural cabin. The flowing roof is constructed entirely of tinted glass that shades the occupants while providing a unique panoramic view as the car moves along the highway.
We think the front of the sedan clearly communicates a sense of power and luxury. The aggressive five-sided grille is constructed of polished aluminum and features an elegant cut-crystal Acura emblem - all of which contributes to the sedan's presence.
We also wanted to clearly emphasize the car's performance potential in the overall design. For example, the generous exterior proportions strongly suggest that a large, powerful engine lurks beneath the hood. While the pronounced wheel arches add to the concept's potent, muscular appearance. At the rear, the jeweled taillights are pushed to the outer edge of the bumper to further enhance the vehicle's wide and low appearance.
The bumper itself is flush-mounted for a clean look, and integrated dual exhaust outlets contribute to the sedan's performance-oriented style.
The Advanced Sedan Concept you see here was meant to be an imaginative, highly provocative design statement - and yes, it does provide a glimpse into the future of Acura styling and design language. We're extremely excited to be pushing the design envelope, and I can guarantee you'll be seeing more bold concepts like this from our Pasadena Studio in the future.
And now, let me turn it back to John to wrap things up.
Thanks, Dave. The Advanced Sedan Concept was developed by our L.A.-based designers. It's a prime example of the imaginative thinking you'll be seeing out of our Advanced Design Studio in Pasadena, and the type of work that will influence Acura design worldwide in the years to come.
Acura will continue to lead the industry in cutting edge styling and customer-relevant technology that enriches the overall driving experience. Advance? Yes! It's the only direction to go. And we're excited to be the driving force in this bold new direction.
Thank you for joining us today. Now, please feel free to take a closer look at this exciting new concept, and Dave and I will be here to answer any questions you may have.