Those that remember can attest to the fact that the original Honda Ridgeline entered the marketplace with much fanfare back in the spring of 2005 as a 2006 model – even garnering the 2006 North American Truck of the Year award at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show. It also won Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year award that year, was the 2006 Urban Truck of the Year as well as being one of the Top Ten cars for 2007 in Automobile Magazine.
Unfortunately, the hybrid frame/unibody pickup never lived up to the hype, quite possibly because there was nothing on the road like it and, besides, even Honda had difficulty figuring out just exactly what it was or should be. Case in point: Ridgeline was originally touted as the thinking person’s alternative to the traditional half ton pickup. The trouble was, when most people thought about it and despite the fact that the Ridgeline offered a number of advantages, it also had a smaller bed, less towing capacity and no option of a V8 engine. Case closed.
Sales peaked at just over 50,000 in 2005 but have failed to surpass 17,000 since 2008, although deliveries are on track this year to fall somewhere in the neighborhood of 17,500. To put these numbers in perspective, 688,810 Ford F-150s, 437,821 Chevrolet Silverados, 322,268 Ram 1500s, 166,535 GMC Sierras, 146,724 Toyota Tacomas, 101,744 Toyota Tundras and 57,426 Nissan Frontiers have been sold through the end of November.
We can now state unequivocally and with some authority that Ridgeline fanboys can finally breathe a sigh of relief – sort of. Yesterday, in a press release, the manufacturer confirmed that a second generation model is in the works, although all we have to go on that is an outline sketch that’s hardly discernible as a pickup truck.
And while we now know that “An all-new Honda Ridgeline pickup truck will come to market in less than two years” and that it “is being designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc. at its Los Angeles and Ohio R&D centers,” that’s about it.
“The next generation Ridgeline will build on Honda’s role in creating new value with a new take on advancing form and function in the truck segment,” said Michael Accavitti, senior vice president of automobile operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “With a clear path forward, Ridgeline will play an even more important role in our future product portfolio and strengthen an already class-leading lineup of light trucks.”