Acura spokesman Andrew Quillin said the incentive is limited to the 2019 model, “of which there are just a handful of U.S. allocations remaining before we shift focus to [model year 2020]. The incentive provides an enticement to those buyers considering one of the final few build-to-order slots.”
Further, when viewed as a percentage of MSRP, the incentive on NSX is less than 14 percent. “These larger-than-usual amounts generally align with incentives for other segments,” Quillin said. “NSX continues to play a critical role in our effort to refocus Acura around performance, both on road and track.”
Citing competing data from Motor Intelligence powered by Autodata, Acura said that its incentive was actually higher, at $22,261. However, Acura also noted that the Autodata numbers showed four cars with higher incentives than the NSX: the BMW i8 ($23,748), Maserati Gran Turismo ($22,980), Toyota Mirai ($22,296), and the outgoing Bentley Continental GTC ($22,343).
Decreasing demand for supercars
Acura is not alone in seeing its exotic car sales decline. According to auto sales tracking website GoodCarBadCar, sales of “premium sports cars” fell from 21,034 in 2017 to 18,188 last year. The BMW i8, for example, saw sales drop from 2,265 units in 2016 to 488 in 2017 before rebounding to 772 last year; through April of this year, it has seen a 42-percent increase. And the venerable Nissan GT-R saw sales fall to 538 last year from several years in the 1,200-unit range.
In a March 2018 interview, Acura boss Jon Ikeda said, “The key is build-to-order. Dealers want one in their store. Now we’re racing with [Roger Penske], we have GT3 race cars, and we have posters on the walls of dealerships. You add to that a shiny red NSX, you give a test drive, and sell an A-Spec MDX. The NSX has many purposes beyond sales. It’s a halo, a flagship.”
MotorTrend recently published a theory that economic recessions tend to follow the release of supercars by automakers not traditionally known for building exotics. But might the slowing demand for older supercars, requiring big cash-on-the-hood offers, also be a sign that woeful economic times are fast approaching? Stay tuned.
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