Although it was the first luxury marque created by a Japanese manufacturer, Acura was the last to enter China and, now, the first to depart.
Quoting Chinese media, Car News China reports the company has informed dealers the brand will leave the country by 2023.
Honda and GAC — one of Honda’s two local joint venture partners — formed GAC Acura in 2016, with the local range featured two models not available in North America: the CDX, a restyled and gussied up Honda HR-V, and the long wheelbase TLX-L sedan.
At its peak in 2018, Acura only sold 14,701 cars in China. Last year it managed a shade over 6000 cars, barely a rounding error in country where 26.3 million cars were sold.
Current employees will reportedly be transferred over to GAC Honda, where many will be deployed to help launch a new sales channel focussed on Honda’s upcoming electric models.
With Acura’s impending exit from China, the brand will have an even smaller footprint, consisting primarily of the US, Canada, Mexico, Panama and Kuwait.
Acura isn’t the first luxury automotive brand established in North America to try its luck in the Chinese market.
Cadillac entered China in 2004, Lexus followed a year later. Ford’s Lincoln brand set up shop in 2014, and like Cadillac now sells more vehicles in the Middle Kingdom than in its homeland.
Just as Acura is about to leave China, Nissan’s Infiniti marque is attempting to get on a better footing in the world’s most populous nation with local manufacturing of the QX60 to commence later this year.