If Acura hopes to survive, it needs more SUVs and it needs them quick.
A new report by Ward's Auto has confirmed probably the least shocking news of all: that another automaker is thinking about bringing an SUV from a foreign market to America. That's because it needs to provide reinforcements to the stock of utility vehicles being swept up in the rampage going on at dealerships. The automaker in question is Acura and the crossover it has in mind is the Chinese market CDX, a subcompact SUV that's built on the same bones as the HR-V and would slot under the mid-size RDX to round off the lineup.
With Mercedes sopping up sales in the entry-level SUV segment using the GLA and Lexus fighting hard with the fast-selling NX, Acura is notably missing from a class of luxury vehicles where attendance pays handsomely. In its current iteration, the CDX carries Honda's 1.5-liter turbocharged four-banger and routes the power to the wheels using an eight-speed DCT. With Acura's new revolutionary styling seen on the current MDX and recently revealed TLX, a US-bound CDX with similar styling could be a no-brainer. "It's a model that interests a lot of our people, so we have our R&D guys looking into the possibility," says Jon Ikeda, group vice president of Acura U.S.
The problem with the proposition is that the CDX is not exactly ready to be sent to the US in its current state. At the moment, the CDX is engineered for the Chinese market and would need to be reworked to clear regulatory requirements in America, but this may be a must for Acura as it has no answer to the BMW X1, Audi Q3, or Infiniti QX30. "It's one of those segments where everybody just keeps coming in and I think the pie just gets cut into more and more smaller pieces," says Ikeda. "It's a very hyper-competitive area. So we have to keep aggressive." The future of the brand, as the future of every other brand it seems, banks on the SUV. Don't be surprised to see Honda pull the trigger on this logical decision soon.