Automakers are ditching cars for SUVs like its 2005.
For a mainstream automaker, Honda tends to do things a bit differently than its automotive peers. The brand depends on its reliable and practical models to sustain sales, but it seems to be behind the curve when it comes to keeping up with changes in the auto industry. While Toyota’s Lexus brand marches ahead to confront the Germans in the luxury battlefield, Acura remains a few steps behind for failing to delineate its luxury cars from its standard Honda models as much as it should.
However the massive popularity of the crossover segment may give Honda a way to finally become a leader, and the Japanese brand is poised to take advantage of this. To make its move, Honda will debut two new crossovers at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show that will be slated for the Chinese market. Both will be crossovers, one sold under the Honda badge, the other garnishing the Acura emblem. The Honda will be based off of the Concept D prototype we saw back at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show and will slot one notch above the CR-V to become Honda's flagship SUV. The Acura to be unveiled will be a compact SUV based off of the SUV-X seen at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show.
These CUVs should help Honda to gain traction in China, the country with the largest auto market and where sales count the most. To make things easier, the crossovers will be made in China, but unlike the Concept D-based SUV, the smaller Acura may make it to North American shores to compete with the Mercedes GLE. Expect it to come standard with offerings from Honda’s parts bin, meaning up to two 4-cylinder offerings, a six-speed automatic (please no CVTs) and optional two or four-wheel drive. Chinese buyers will probably see both cars later this year, but if the small Acura makes its way to America, don't expect it until 2018.