At least this is what Motor Trend magazine claimed last week.
When Honda released a message on it's blog about the rumours of the demise of it's Ridgeline truck, they wrote " the Ridgeline has a significant role in the Honda range and it is expected that it will be so in the foreseeable future." It seems that the "foreseeable future" stops in September 2014, according to a recent report from Ward's Auto. They predict that Honda will stop production of the Ridgeline in September 2014, with a new model launched in 2016, after a two year hiatus.
The Honda Ridgeline, built in Alabama, was supposed to remain in production until the spring of 2016, when a new generation would take over. It is now expected that the new Ridgeline will enter production in the second quarter of 2016. Honda has not returned requests for clarification of the claims made by the famous American magazine.
Previously, Honda had said "the Ridgeline is not going away. There are currently no plans to remove the Ridgeline. We believe it is important to have a truck in our range of products."
On the market since 2006, the Honda Ridgeline was named Truck of the Year by Motor Trend magazine. Over 50,000 copies were sold in it's first year. U.S. sales of the unibody truck, assembled on the same chassis as the Pilot, have been in steady decline since, until last year when Honda added a Sport model. The addition of this model has increased sales by 44.2% in the United States. Honda sold 14,068 units of the Sport.
The Honda Ridgeline is part of a class that contains few models, the small truck segment. This year there is the Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma who face off against the Ridgeline. General Motors plans to return to this segment next year with their Chevrolet Colorado and 2015 GMC Canyon. Note that the Ford Ranger is sold everywhere around the world, except in Canada and the United States. Also gone is the Dodge Dakota, which exited the North American market a few years ago.
Trucks are hot in the U.S. right now, but big trucks are getting all of the sales, while the small truck market is suffering from drastically decreasing sales.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca