Acura is the luxury vehicle marque of Japanese automaker Honda. The brand was launched in the United States and Canada on 27 March 1986. Acura holds the distinction of being the first Japanese automotive luxury brand. The creation of Acura coincided with the introduction of a JDM Honda dealership sales channel which sold luxury vehicles. In its first few years of existence, Acura was among the best-selling luxury marques in the US. In the late 1980s, the success of the company's first flagship vehicle, the Legend, inspired fellow Japanese automakers Toyota and Nissan to launch their own luxury brands, Lexus and Infiniti, respectively. The 1990 launch of the NSX, a mid-engine exotic sports car, offered a reliable and practical alternative to exotic European sports cars, and introduced Honda's VTEC variable valve timing system to the North American market.