Wards Auto recently reported that Honda will end production of the current generation Ridgeline compact pickup in September of 2012. It is expected that a new model of the compact pickup will be introduced in 2016. Honda would not confirm the anticipated two-year hiatus but did indicate that the Ridgeline is an important part of the Honda vehicle lineup. The Honda Ridgeline was originally introduced to the U.S. marketplace in 2005.
Next Generation Honda Ridgeline
The Honda Ridgeline pickup was introduced to the public as a sports utility truck (Sut) in 2005. The new Ridgeline featured an in-bed storage box. The storage box and other Ridgeline innovations were soon co-opted by the competition. It was expected that the current generation Ridgeline pickup would continue to be sold in the U.S. until 2016, but disappointing sales figures may have prompted a change in plans. It appears that the Ridgeline pickup will disappear from Honda showrooms for nearly two years.
Honda gave the 2009 Ridgline pickup a facelift after dropping the RTX model in 2008. The 2012 Ridgeline featured a Sport model, and a backup camera became standard equipment in 2013. Otherwise, there haven’t been many changes. Rumors about the ultimate fate of the Honda Ridgeline have been circulating for years. The 350 liter V-6 Ridgeline simply lacks the muscle to compete with V-8 name brand pickups.
Not only does the Ridgeline offer less towing and hauling capacity than its chief rivals, the paltry 15/21 mpg rating is unimpressive. Honda only managed to sell 14,068 Ridgeline trucks in 2012. Although 2012 sales were up significantly from the previous year, Ridgeline sales represent only a small fraction of the competitive U.S. pickup market. The following U.S. 2012 pickup truck sales figure may have prompted Honda officials to initiate a substantial overhaul of the Ridgeline:
– Ford F-Series-645,316 units sold
– Chevrolet Silverado-418,312 units sold
– Ram pickup-293,363 units sold
– Toyota Tundra-101,621 units sold
– Nissan Titan-21,576 units sold
2016 Honda Ridgeline
Although Honda officials declined to confirm the rumored upgrade of the Ridgeline pickup, all signs indicate that a next generation Ridgline will be introduced in 2016. The company is pleased with recent sales figures, and it appears that the Ridgline sports utility truck has a strong future in the United States. Pickup truck sales have declined dramatically in recent years. Auto manufacturers are hopeful that the introduction of new compact pickup models will help reverse the trend.