NEW YORK, April 7 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co. Ltd. <7267.T> expects its Acura division, its North American sales arm that posted record 2003 sales, to boost sales by more than 7 percent to 184,000 units this year as several luxury car and sports utility models take hold, an executive said on Wednesday.
"Sales have been going through the roof," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of sales for American Honda Motor Co., said at the 2004 New York International Automobile Show.
Acura is off to a good start this year after reporting as 29 percent jump in first quartrer sales. The division had record monthly U.S. sales in March with 17,310 units sold, driven by the TL sedan, the MDX sports-utility vehicle and the TSX sports sedan.
Colliver was in New York to introduce's a prototype for the 2005 model of the Acura RL luxury performance sedan, which will hit dealer showrooms this autumn. The latest version features all-wheel drive, Acura's most powerful engine ever at 300 horsepower and other new technology.
Colliver said he expects U.S. sales of the RL will reach 12,000 to 15,000 units in its first year.
"It's going to be a little more," he said. "We're going to feel our way into the (more-upscale) marketplace. We have the ability to increase production."