According to a post on Honda Motor Company’s corporate Web site, the Ridgeline mid-sized pickup truck is here to stay – at least for now.
On Wednesday, Honda’s manager of truck product planning Sage Marie wrote, “I would like to lay to rest any rumors about the future of the Honda Ridgeline. In no uncertain terms, the reports in the media that we have plans to discontinue the Ridgeline pick-up truck are false.”
Marie went on to write that, “Ridgeline has a significant role in the Honda line-up and it is expected to continue in the foreseeable future.”
A number of industry publications have been predicting the demise of the Ridgeline based on its faltering sales. In 2006, Honda sold 50,193 Ridgelines in the U.S. For 2011, U.S. sales of the Ridgeline are expected to be around 10,000.
In his article, Mr. Marie pointed out that “the 2011 Ridgeline has continued to receive industry-leading scores in the midsize pickup segment, achieving a #1 rating in 2011 J.D. Power IQS and APEAL studies.”
The new 2012 Ridgeline will reportedly feature new styling and improved fuel economy. The automaker will also introduce a new Sport trim level to the Ridgeline model line.
The new 2012 Ridgeline Sport will feature 18-inch allow wheels, a new honeycomb front grille, and black headlight and brake light housings and is scheduled to go on sale sometime next month.
Still, many are betting that a new replacement model is in the works. Honda has a longstanding reputation for holding its cards close to the vest when it comes to future product plans.
Two years prior to the launch of the CR-Z, the automaker flatly denied that a sports hybrid coupe was in development.
The final paragraph of Marie’s article also left the door wide open to speculation. “And, while it is too early to talk publicly about the details of our future plans for Ridgeline, I can reassure that it will continue to build onto its fundamental strengths, and will remain an important part of the Honda product portfolio,” he stated.
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