What’s the first name that pops into your mind when you think high-performance medium and small pickup trucks? Honda, right?
Oh… It’s not? You say that the Honda Ridgeline is one of the worst-selling pickups on the market?
Well, you just wait, because within two years Honda intends to release the next generation of their Ridgeline pickup truck; it will change your mind about Japanese-made pickup trucks, just as Toyota is aiming to do with their mid-size Tacoma and as Nissan is aiming to do with their full-size Titan.
While the current Honda Ridgeline may be a fine pickup truck, its lackluster sales certainly haven’t done anything to warrant praise. Somehow, driving a truck built from a minivan just doesn’t feel manly. Nothing against the Honda Odyssey, of course. There were even some rumors floating that Honda would nix the Ridgeline from their lineup if poor sales continued, but those rumors ring hollow with the release of this latest sketch.
So, do you want to see a detailed depiction of the next-gen Honda Ridgeline?
Too bad, because all we have is an extremely vague silhouette…
Despite the extremely vague teaser image, we actually have a several juicy details to share about the second-generation Honda Ridgeline pickup truck.
First, it seems very likely that the new Honda Ridgeline will be rebuilt from the ground up. Honda doesn’t want any more minivan underpinnings tarnishing the rugged image the Ridgeline needs to put forth. Furthermore, a complete overhaul makes sense from a marketing standpoint; it can be used to separate the old underperforming Ridgeline from the new one in the eyes of wary drivers.
The new Ridgeline may end up keeping a similar closed-box unibody platform, but rebuilt to better suit the unique needs of a pickup.
Second, we know that the new Honda Ridgeline will be designed, engineered and manufactured exclusively in the US. Not too surprising, given that the current Ridgeline is manufactured exclusively in the US as well.
Last, but not least, we know that Honda does not view the current Ridgeline as a failure. If anything, the 30% increase in sales the truck has enjoyed throughout 2013 (though sales still total a measly 16,160 units) are nothing but a firm foundation on which to launch the next generation of their compact pickup. Production of the current Honda Ridgeline will stop somewhere in mid-2014. It seems likely that we’ll see the next-gen Ridgeline sometime late next year, with an official launch for the 2015 model year.
All in all, it’s clear that Honda has very high hopes for the next iteration of their Ridgeline pickup truck. Senior VP of automobile operations, Michael Accavitti, says, “with a clear path forward, [the new] Ridgeline will play an even more important role in our future product portfolio and strengthen an already class-leading lineup of light trucks.”
In other words, you ain’t seen nothing yet.leave a response, trackback from your own site