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Acura is in the middle of a major product changeover, reflecting plans to challenge second-tier luxury rivals Audi, Buick, Infiniti and Volvo rather than Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus.
Interesting, Volvo "says or thinks" they are going after MB, and BMW, but Acura obviously places Volvo in that "other" crowd.

Always interesting how other companies group/place their competitors. Then again, LOL, I never realized Acura "was" targetting MB and BMW.


http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120730/OEM04/307309997/1274
 

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I am sure the automobile marketing professionals find the SS discussions of who competes with what to be silly. Once you have real data on who cross shops what and what the conquest rates are, I am sure you can define the competitive group with 100% accuracy. Part of the problem, other than a lack of data, is that some people around here need for self image purposes to think they are driving a "premium" car no matter what the reality is.

For amateurs like us, I think the MSRP is the surest way to go. 60K cars compete with other 60K cars, and folks who think they compete with 37K cars are engaged in wishful thinking. Having said that the NSX in the article looks like a killer.
 

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I would also like to know how they consider Audi to be a "2nd tier" automaker. They are making better cars than both BMW and Mercedes these days -- this may have been true 6 years ago, but not today.
 

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I would also like to know how they consider Audi to be a "2nd tier" automaker. They are making better cars than both BMW and Mercedes these days -- this may have been true 6 years ago, but not today.
Yea, it's very strange that Audi is second tier but Lexus is first. Perhaps they're basing it on numbers? I'm pretty sure all three of those brands outsell Audi.

As far as Volvo is concerned a second tier luxury spot seems to be the most appropriate place for them. The whole competing with BMW and MB has been thrown around but I was always under the impression that referred to potential next generation vehicles and not the current offerings. The V40 seems like it could be a good competitor to their similar models (A-Class, A3, 1 Series maybe?) but most of their other cars will have to go further upmarket to compete with the Germans. Especially the S80 if it wants to take aim at the 5 series and the XC90 if it's going after the X5.
 

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The new XC90 will compete with the Mercedes GL, but 15% cheaper.

THAT will be the litmus test to see if Volvo truly can compete in the premium luxury arena.
 

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I would say that in my own experience and from reading from other people on the boards and talking with folks...Volvo is probably most cross shopped with Audi and Acura, and Infiniti. I think Merc and BMW and Lexus customers are just more loyal and really are a differnt type of cusomter. Lexus and Merc=Older...BMW= younger with lots of money to burn or potentially older performance oriented folks (CEO types who need a status car)...It doesnt matter so much that Volvo does compete well with them or not, which I think they do. Its about who actually is actually being crosshopped. Its just a different type of buyer. The first place I bought a Volvo was a Volvo/Toyota dealer. I asked the manager why Volvo and not Lexus...he said that Volvo represented a nice brand that Toyota buyers often step up to instead of going over to Lexus. Seems reasonable to me. Buick I think is really mostly crosshopped with Caddy and the higher end versions of regular namplates...like your loaded Hyundai Azera, Toyota Avalon, and Fusion/Taurus. JMHO...I think Acura, Volvo, and Audi and to some degree Infiniti represent a sort of luxry purgatory where customers just want something nicer than a Camry but dont want to deal with the hassle of a BMW, or the status looks of a Lexus of Merc.
 
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