Honda’s upmarket Acura division has been selling cars in China since 2006 so it has a long way to go to catch up to more established players in the world’s biggest car market. To strengthen its position, Acura has partnered with Chinese automaker Guangzhou, paving the way for the local production of its cars.

Guangzhou, of course, already has a joint venture with Honda but any new joint venture to start production of Acura models is still some years away.

Acura and Guangzhou have only signed a basic agreement to work together and are still in discussions over joint production plans. The two companies envisage starting production of Acura models in China in 2016.

In a statement, Acura said it will initially begin production of a compact crossover in China. The particular model was previewed by the SUV-X concept unveiled at April’s 2013 Shanghai Auto Show and may end up being sold globally. The only information released on the concept was that it had a “global” design.

The eventual production version would compete nicely with cars like the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Buick Encore. The compact crossover segment is showing significant growth, especially for luxury makes, which is why we’ll be seeing several new contenders launched in the coming years. In addition to the Acura, we’ll also be seeing the Lincoln MKC, Mercedes-Benz GLA and a rumored Lexus NX.


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