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Acura is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Honda Motor Company.[1] The Acura brand has been used in the US, Canada, and Hong Kong since March 1986 to market Honda's luxury and performance vehicles and near-performance vehicles. The Acura brand was introduced to North America partly because Japan imposed Voluntary Export Restraints for the USA market, and it presented an opportunity for Japanese manufacturers to export more expensive cars.

The brand was introduced to Mexico in 2004 and to China in 2006. Honda's plans to introduce Acura to the Japanese market have been repeatedly delayed: the 2008 launch date was put back to 2010[2] and then in a December 17, 2008 announcement[3] from Takeo Fukui, CEO of Honda, it was postponed to an undetermined date.



1980s: The Acura brand

Following a decade of research, Honda opened 60 new dealerships in North America, by 1986, to support its Acura automobile division. Acura was the first Japanese luxury brand to be introduced,[1] and its initial offering consisted of two models: the executive class Legend, a V6-powered sedan, and the compact class Integra, available as a five-door and three-door hatchback. The Legend was the result of Project XX, a joint venture Honda entered into with the Austin Rover Group of Great Britain and was mechanically related to the Rover 800 series, and the Integra was an improvement of the Honda Quint hatchback.[4] The success of these models, particularly the Legend, led to competing Japanese luxury brand ventures (Toyota's Lexus that began development in 1983 as the F1 project, and Nissan's Infiniti who began development in 1985 by revising their Japan only flagship Nissan President; in the late 1990s Mazda planned but never launched its own Amati luxury division). The goal of the Legend was to compete with rivals Toyota Crown and the Nissan Cedric and Gloria, but due to its 1986 introduction worldwide, Toyota, Nissan and other companies like Lincoln took notice of the markets reaction to the Legend and later the Vigor and offered vehicles that addressed the executive size car. Toyota introduced the Lexus ES, Nissan introduced the Infiniti J30 and Lincoln utilized the Taurus platform and named their new sedan the Continental.

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