Honda plans to manufacture the Acura in China beginning with 2016, part of its strategy to boost sales of upscale vehicles in the largest auto market in the world.
Today, July 18th, Honda announced it has signed a deal with Guangzhou Automobile Group to jointly manufacture Acura vehicles in China, but it did not offer details about the targeted production capacity or what models will be built here. A Honda spokeswoman said that one possible model might be a new compact SUV which is not currently in the automaker’s product lineup.
The new model might be based on the Acura SUV-X, a concept model that was unveiled in April at the Shanghai auto show, when the company’s chief executive, Takanobu Ito, announced that Honda was planning to manufacture Acura vehicles in China in the following three years. More automakers are beginning to manufacture vehicles in China, to reduce costs for the imported cars from the overseas markets.
Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have also begun building vehicles in China in partnerships with local car makers. Recently GM has started manufacturing Cadillac vehicles in the Asian country, while Nissan is building a plant in the city of Dalian to produce Infiniti models. Analysts predict that premium vehicle demand in this country will reach 2.7 million units annually by 2020, surpassing the US and the become the largest premium auto market in the world.