Earlier this month, we learned that Honda had plans to cancel Acura RDX exports to China from its East Liberty, Ohio production facility. China is set to receive its own domestic-built version of the RDX tailored to local preferences. This all remains true, but what we were concerned about is whether any local jobs would be affected by a lowered output. Furthermore, was this all related to the ongoing trade war between the US and China, where each side has imposed high tariffs on the other.
Acura reached out to us to clarify a few things, chief among them that the East Liberty plant “is operating at full capacity to produce the Acura RDX… as well as the Acura MDX and Honda CR-V,” according to corporate communications spokesman Chris Abbruzzese. Above all, “the production of RDX in China has no impact to the East Liberty Plant.”
As it turns out, Acura began plans for Chinese RDX production long before the trade dispute because of increased demand there. In fact, the long-term plan for the Chinese RDX did not involve East Liberty because the automaker wants to continue its history of building vehicles in the markets where they’re sold.
A total of 99 percent of Acura vehicles currently sold in the US are built in America. Meanwhile, the third-generation RDX crossover has just set a new annual sales record, surpassing the previous all-time high of 52,361 units in 2016.
There are still several more weeks left of this year so Acura can already claim the new record. The Acura RDX, the best-selling vehicles in its class, is the only mid-size premium crossover to surpass 50,000 sales for the past four years straight. Fortunately for Acura, its long-time policy of production in relation to market continues to pay off big time, especially given the current political environment. The 2019 Acura RDX, as we recently learned from our own test drive, is an excellent all-around luxury crossover with generous power, storage, and premium features like a 10.2-inch HD display. Pricing begins at $37,300, not including destination.