Dongfeng Honda’s sales rose 10.5% to a record 282,000 units in 2012, compared with an average growth of 6.8% seen in the overall passenger vehicle market, it says. The performance of the joint venture was remarkable considering the sharp decline in demand for Japanese auto brands in China in the second half of 2012.

There were 169,000 new orders for Dongfeng Honda’s flagship 2012 CR-V SUV in 2012, 5.6% more than the figure for 2011, according to Nanfang Daily. The CR-V is the first SUV brand to have sold more than 700,000 units in China. In 2012, sales of the Civic rose 2.1% to 79,700 units, and Dongfeng Honda released its first minivan model, the Elysion.

The company expects its sales to cross 1.5 million vehicles in 2013. It also intends to release the Concept S targeting Chinese drivers this year.

In July 2012, Dongfeng Honda officially launched operations at its second auto plant, which has a capacity to manufacture 100,000 vehicles a year and has raised overall annual production capacity of the JV to 480,000 units.