The sketch shows the direction that Honda is planning for its new truck, which appears to ditch the single-piece body in favor of a more conventional pickup truck design. Even with the new design, it's not clear if Honda will move away from the Ridgeline's car-based platform shared with the Odyssey, Pilot and Accord. Sales of the Ridgeline dipped to below 10,000 units in 2011 but have increased steadily over the last two years (including 29 percent so far in 2013) with slightly more than 16,000 units on the year.
As for the current Ridgeline, Honda will wind down production at the Lincoln, AL assembly plant sometime during the middle of next year. The press release for the announcement is posted below.
12/10/2013 - TORRANCE, Calif.
-Design sketch reveals styling direction for Next-Gen Honda truck
-Current Ridgeline production will end mid-2014
-Sales of Ridgeline up 29 percent in 2013
An all-new Honda Ridgeline pickup truck will come to market in less than two years and, today, Honda shared a sketch expressing the new truck's styling direction. Honda also confirmed that production of the current Ridgeline (http://automobiles.honda.com/ridgeline/), built exclusively by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC, in Lincoln, Alabama, will conclude in mid-2014.
Like the innovative first-generation model that earned 2006 North American Truck of the Year and Motor Trend Truck of the Year honors after its fall 2005 debut, the next-gen Ridgeline is being designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc. at its Los Angeles and Ohio R&D centers.
The Honda Ridgeline broke new ground in the American pickup market with its unique design featuring a spacious five-passenger cabin, smooth ride and handling, and half-ton truck capability. The first truck of its kind to be built on a closed-box unibody platform, the Ridgeline introduced innovative new features to the pickup segment, such as its large In-Bed Trunk® and dual-action tailgate.
"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."
Sales of Ridgeline have enjoyed strong momentum in 2013, strengthened recently by the introduction of a new top-of-the-line Special Edition model for 2014, with sales totaling 16,160 units through the first 11 months of the year, an increase of 29 percent.
Honda offers a complete lineup of cars and trucks through a network of more than 1,000 dealerships in the United States. Honda has more than 30 years of experience producing automobiles in the region, which began with the Accord in Marysville, Ohio, in November 1982. Having produced more than 25 million vehicles in North America through 2012 using domestic and globally sourced parts, Honda currently operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda automobiles, all-terrain vehicles, power equipment products, engines and transmissions.