Honda says it will launch an all-new second generation of the Ridgeline within two years -- ending speculation that it would give up on the pickup because of slow sales.
The redesigned Ridgeline, which is being developed in the United States, will be new from the wheels up and built at Honda's Lincoln, Ala., plant, home of the current model.
Honda plans to end production of the first-generation Ridgeline in June, leaving a gap in production. Depending on demand for the current model, dealers may run out of Ridgelines before the new one is available. But Honda spokesman Steve Kinkade said if that does happen, dealers will not be out of the truck for an extended period of time.
Honda did not release any technical details of the new Ridgeline or indicate whether it would be the same size as the current model. There's also no word on whether it will continue to be based on the Odyssey minivan platform or get unique underpinnings.
The Ridgeline, facing full-sized truck competitors from Ram, Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Toyota and Nissan, is the segment's lowest volume seller. Through November, Honda sold 16,160 Ridgelines, up 29 percent over the same period last year. The company recently introduced a special edition model for 2014.
Honda introduced the Ridgeline in 2005 and has sold 242,049 in the United States since its debut. It won North American Truck of the Year honors in 2006, partly due to its clever layout and innovative cargo stowage system. But its minivan-based underpinnings meant the Ridgeline could not tow and haul heavy loads like a conventional truck, and that may have limited its appeal.