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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Jan 05 2012, 2:15 PM

Acura closed the year on a sour sales note with the new year resolution to move on with their brand despite most car companies being on the rebound.

This year, Acura fans and new customers alike can look forward to a refreshed and redesigned Acura, less focused on competing with the luxury segment and more focused on a mid-market segment between what Honda already offers and the premium car market. So why the change?

The Acura MDX only sold 4,588 units this year, down more than 22 percent over last year. Total sales also dropped eight percent, marking a bad year for the brand.

Honda has often been criticized for stepping too closely within their comfort zone with the Acura variations on their cars, as many owners felt like they were driving slightly fancier Civics.

That doesn’t mean the horse is ready for the glue factory just yet, though. Honda has a plan to make Acura more competitive, including a new NSX, set to debut at next week’s North American International Auto Show.

While supercars are nice, they have never sold in high volume and can’t come close to rescuing a lame duck brand. However, writing Acura off as a lame duck, despite comparatively poor sales, is probably rash. The company plans to debut a line of totally redesigned cars starting this spring in an effort to rethink the brand.

“Acura will start off 2012 strong with the debut of three all-new products at the North American International Auto Show. Although we still had low inventory in December, our production levels are now back to normal. With a great line-up of products and all-new ILX and RDX models coming in the spring, 2012 will be a very good year for Acura,” said an Acura representative.

Stay in touch with us next week as we unveil more details about Acura’s new models and their plan for the coming year.

 |  Dec 28 2011, 6:30 PM

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The new year is rapidly approaching and with it a host of new vehicles begging to be driven are sitting in dealer lots waiting to wow shoppers. When it comes to new cars, those shoppers often expect more for less as new models hit the showroom, but that wont be the case for electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf (pictured above).

Next year the government is removing three of the four subsidies available to consumers as incentives to adopt the new technology. The fourth, and arguably most important, will remain in the coming year. A total of $8,500 in tax incentives will get the ax as the ball drops in Times Square, which represents more than half of the total $16,000 in incentives offered this year. Consumers buying EVs next year won’t enjoy this year’s $1,000 maximum to install a home charging station, $2,500 maximum for two- or three-wheeled EVs with 2.5-kWh batteries or larger and the $4,000 maximum for converting either a hybrid to plug-in or a regular ICE to EV power.

People purchasing EVs will still be eligible to receive up to $7,500 in tax credits for buying a new plug-in vehicle, though the subsidy depends on the size of the battery in the vehicle. These incentives are meant to boost the number of EVs sold and will be phased out on a per-manufacturer basis once the individual automakers sell more than 200,000 plug-ins.

It might be good to act before the new year if you’ve been planning on cashing in with those incentives, but don’t worry about losing out on the $7,500 credit that will remain. The 200,000 vehicle figure isn’t likely to be hit any time soon thanks to low selection and relatively high prices for EVs with or without bonuses.

[Source: AutoBlog]