Acura has yet to release its first fully electric vehicle, but that isn’t stopping the company from strategizing how it will compete with EV leader Tesla.
Acura will sell EVs 100% online to take on Tesla
Honda, the parent company of Acura, has been slow to introduce fully electric technology thus far. However, the automaker’s new CEO, Toshihiro Mibe, elected in 2021, looks to compensate for the lost time.
Electrek reported Tuesday that Honda is overhauling its business to accelerate EV development and deployment.
The plans include consolidating its vehicle, motorcycle, and other power product operations into a new business segment to help streamline production. In addition, Honda announced it would be reorganizing its regional operations, condensing it to three from six regions previously.
Honda claims it will “transform itself through electrification,” striving to become “a company society wants to exist in the electrified era.”
A significant part of the company’s EV plans includes Acura, which is set to release its first fully electric vehicle co-developed with GM, the ZDX and ZDX Type S variant, in 2024. Pre-sales will begin for the ZDX EV in 2023, but according to the automaker, 100% of Acura’s EV sales will take place online.
Acura seems to be taking a page from Tesla and its direct-to-consumer (DTC) approach. Although Tesla does operate some retail stores, the EV leader trimmed most high-rent locations in 2021, such as shopping malls, to focus on delivery centers.
Instead, Tesla rented cheaper spaces like mall parking lots to host test drives while many of its employees work remotely to direct customers to online orders and test drive locations.
In stark contrast to other Japanese automakers, Acura is skipping the hybrid phase altogether and, instead, going straight to fully electric vehicles.
With another year until the ZDX comes out, Acura will need to play catch up, as most automakers have already released EVs, and many are achieving double-digit (or 100%) electric sales.
Taking a page from Tesla’s playbook is not the worst idea for Acura. I mean, they do have some of the highest gross margins in the auto industry for a reason while expanding production at a commanding rate. Tesla’s Q4 and full-year 2022 earnings are expected after market close Wednesday, January 25. Here’s a preview of what to expect.
Honda and Acura strive to achieve carbon neutrality across its product and corporate activities by 2050, with 100% of North American sales being zero-emission. Honda’s first EV SUV, the Prologue, will begin pre-sales this year, followed by deliveries in 2024.