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Acura Boosts Production for 2011

Acura told dealers it would boost production by 15,000 units during the 1st quarter from a year ago and aims for 150,000 sales for the year.

"That's music to my ears" said Douglass Fox, dealer principal of Ann Arbor Acura in Ann Arbor, Mich. The forecast is up from 133,000 sales in 2010. At last year's make meeting in Orlando, Acura told dealers it was aiming for 130,000 sales.

The additional 15,000 units of production "means more TL and MDX," key models for Acura dealers, said Theeanna Stevens, dealer principal at Fresno Acura in Fresno, Calif., and a member of the Acura Dealer Advisory Board.

Dealers say Acura has been listening to their concerns on some vehicle designs. Said Jim Smail, president of Smail Auto Group in Greensburg, Pa., and chairman of the Acura Dealer Advisory Board: "Some of the designs have been less than what we would like. The redesign of the TL that is coming in late March -- that should lead to an increase in sales."

But Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales, said Acura remains committed to its "signature grille."

In 2010, 92% of Acura dealers were profitable, Conrad said. Sales rose 26% and market share rose from 1.0% to 1.2%.

Acura is continuing with its "Advance" national ad campaign, Conrad said.

Stevens said Acura showed dealers a full calendar of ad plans: "There was some strong focus and direction."
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