Officially, there is no word. Unofficially, Acura seems plenty content with the idea of bringing the Chinese-market CDX subcompact crossover to North America, so long as there’s a business case for it.
“It’s a model that interests a lot of our people, so we have our R&D guys looking into the possibility,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president of American Honda’s Acura division, last April.
Is an American design patent granted to Honda proof that the company’s braintrust have made up their minds?
The long-established U.S. auto industry is essentially impossible to turn on its head. An automaker can’t simply show up with a new brand or a new philosophy or new design tactics and instantly upset the apple cart.
Just as you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, it’s difficult to teach an old automobile market to adopt new buying habits. Market share swings are incremental. Progress is slow. At Acura, for example, facelifts of the TLX and RLX sedans and improved availability of the MDX (after moving some production to Ohio) will likely not combine to increase the brand’s market share by even one-tenth of one percent.
Given the difficulties faced by Acura in America — sales have fallen by more than a quarter since 2005 — Honda’s premium brand is turning its gaze to a larger, fresher, less established market. A market where buying habits are not cemented, where market share is still up for grabs, where market-specific vehicles are the norm.
And if Acura can soon succeed in China, where the brand has high hopes for the near-term, then Acura stands a much better chance of succeeding in America.
If you’re not familiar with Acura’s subcompact CDX crossover, take a gander at Honda’s HR-V and think of China. Right now, that’s the only country that gets to buy the HR-V-based utility, but things could change.
Acura is reportedly mulling a trans-Pacific journey for the little CUV as it takes stock of its meager U.S. utility lineup.
Honda’s Chinese subsidiary is proud of the upcoming Acura CDX compact SUV, as it’s the first Acura designed for, and built in, that expanding car market.
Based on the Honda HR-V, the CDX tries to erase all signs of its body donor’s identity. Among other things, the new model adds shapelier flanks, conventional rear door handles, Acura’s new corporate diamond grille, and taillights that align with the brand.
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