Honda has said that it has started to manufacture the Spirior sports sedan at its Chinese joint venture, with sales of the new premium car to start next month.

The 2.4-litre Spirior (Accord in Europe; Acura TSX in US) is being produced at the plant of Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co. in Wuhan, Hubei Province. The plant also makes the CR-V and Civic.

The sales target for 2009 is 15,000 units.

Annual production capacity of the Wuhan factory has been increased to 200,000 units from 120,000 and Honda’s overall production capacity in China – including vehicles manufactured at another JV – has risen to 610,000 units a year.

Honda intends to step up its efforts in China with the introduction of the Spirior, aiming to sell 550,000 vehicles there this year, an increase of 16% from 2008.