Say Goodbye

Acura confirms that it is killing its lowest-selling sedan in the U.S.

Acura has confirmed that the RLX is going away in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Acura

After years of low sales numbers, Acura has confirmed that it is killing the RLX after the 2020 model year. The information was first reported by AutomotiveNews. In 2019, Acura, the luxury arm of Honda, sold just 1,019 versions of the model. Only 204 versions of the car have been sold so far in 2020.

The RLX is the largest sedan model in the Acura lineup and is larger than every sedan in the Honda stable as well.

At its height, Acura's midsize RLX sold over 5,000 units in a year, but that was 2013 and back then the RLX looked fresh and the market was still finding sedans an attractive choice.

2020 Acura RLX

Photo courtesy of Acura


The car hasn't been updated since its mid-cycle facelift in 2018. Then it received a number of upgrades including a fresh front seat, new interior accent options, Acura's standard suite of safety technology, and a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The model isn't the first sedan to be cancelled this year. Cadillac has put the CT6 sedan on the chopping block as part of a brand restructuring and General Motors plant reorganization plan.

Acura will continue to sell the ILX and TLX sedans.

Rumor has it that Acura is looking at bringing back the Integra nameplate as it strives to reclaim the premium performance grandeur that helped make the nameplate so popular a few decades ago. The company is expected to debut a redesigned MDX SUV later this year, which will go on sale as a 2021 model.

Acura is also gearing up to sell more performance-focused variants of its models, in the same vein as the product plan Audi has been successfully executing for years. Audi refers to these as "S" and "RS" models. Acuras will wear Type S badging.

Acura will continue to sell the RLX in other markets, where it goes by the Legend name. The automaker is not planning a successor to the RLX in the U.S.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The teaser image of the 2027 Kia lineup includes numerous cars and SUVs.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has revealed plans to launch seven new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2027 in numerous segments. The first, code named CV, will launch in 2021 and serve as the kickoff to a new Kia design direction. The move is known internally as the “Plan S" strategy. Under Plan S, Kia's BEV line will include 11 models by 2025.

The announcement coincides with the company's stated goal of having 25 percent of Kia's global sales come from BEVs by 2029. To do that, the company plans to work to expand the world's electric vehicle (EV) charging network. Kia has sold over 100,000 BEVs worldwide since the company introduced its first model in 2011, the Kia Ray.

Kia Ray EV 2011 The Kia Ray was the company's first production EV.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Plan S includes a company-wide business transformation that will include production, sales, and services. Dealerships will likely be required too invest in equipment to handle the influx of EVs. In the U.S, Kia will increase the number of EV work bays at dealerships to 600 by the end of 2020 and increase the number to more than 2,000 by 2023..

The product plan includes a diverse number of models. The vehicles will include BEVs that are “suitable for urban centers, long-range journeys, and performance driving". They will be based on the company's new adaptable Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The platform will allow for best-in-class interior spaciousness, according to Kia.

Though subscription services have not gained widespread popularity in the U.S., the company is exploring the creation of subscription services, as well as EV battery leasing and rental programs. Other “second life" battery-related businesses may be part of the plan as well.

Kia also plans to add around 500 charging stations in North America, partnering with its dealer networks. Further, the company is seeking a partner in North America to support a larger infrastructure buildout.

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The new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross used the Internet of Things to connect to the My Mitsubishi Connect app

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors North Americ

Mitsubishi has enlisted Aeris and Dealer-FX to better connect owners to their vehicles. Using integrations with the Aeris Mobility Services and Dealer-FX ONE platforms, the My Mitsubishi Connect mobile app will now enable Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross drivers to view real-time service and maintenance needs, as reported by their vehicles.

The system will push timely notifications from the vehicle to the app and the owner's smart mobile device allowing them to act in a matter of seconds rather than trying to remember that a warning light cane in while operating the vehicle.

"Mitsubishi customers are dreamers, achievers, entrepreneurs – active in their communities and in their family homes, and their time is extremely valuable," said Mark Chaffin, Chief Operating Officer of MMNA. "The My Mitsubishi Connect app allows us to enhance their experience, be more efficient with their time and continue to demonstrate our commitment to delivering high quality, top value vehicles with leading-edge technology in the U.S."

This isn't the company's first IoT foray. When it debuted, Mitsubishi Road Assist+ was the first hardware-free, smartphone-based app provided by an OEM that allowed owners to realize the cost savings of usage-based insurance without having to own "connected car" with built-in telematics capabilities or aftermarket-installed telematics hardware.

Mitsubishi continues to grow its presence in the U.S. market. The company recently relocated its headquarters from California to the Nashville, Tennessee area near where Renault-Nissan- Mitsubishi Alliance member Nissan has its North American headquarters.

The company recently announced a partnership with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center to create the Small Batch - Big Ideas Entrepreneur Network, which gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from Mitsubishi executives, among other benefits.

The My Mitsubishi Connect and Mitsubishi Road Assist+ apps are currently available on the Google Play store and the Apple's App Store for use on Android and iOS devices.

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