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Discussion Starter #1
http://www.autoweek.com/news.cms?newsId=102883

Early sales of Honda's Ridgeline truck disappoint; high prices pegged as main problem

The Honda Ridgeline has a price problem.

The innovative V-6 pickup costs about $10,000 more than other compact trucks in the United States. And that is hurting sales, says Koichi Kondo, president of American Honda Motor Co.

...

Jim Roland, general sales manager of Heritage Honda in Baltimore, says: "It's a lovely vehicle. I think it's a tad overpriced. It's more or less priced up with the bigger trucks, but it's a small vehicle."
 

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Dropping the price would have a drastic effect on the resale value of the 15,000 trucks they already sold. Considering they marketed this truck to current Honda owners, that's like pi$$ing off your customer base. Bad idea.
 

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Very, very, very, did I say very?, bad idea. (to lower the price) My two cents worth. It's not like AMH did a great job of advertising on this. We're knowledgeable here online, but most shmoes didn't/don't know the advantages of the Ridgeline and Honda has done absolutely NOTHING to alleviate that. Honda management is in control of advertising, so, in my mind, the problem isn't the product, it's the people that are responsible for marketing that product. Honda, you're gonna have to do a better job of justifying:

1. That AMH can actually build a "truck" that is at least equal to the competitors. AMH building a "trunk" is NOT BAU.
2. That the price and what they get for that price is hit on in advertising and hit HARD!

If you have these bases covered you will get customers in the dealerships to drive one and when you get them to drive it, they will buy it. Or buy more of them. Marketing 101 folks...
 

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Right on the money, pbear. AHM can make all the excuses they want about the lackluster sales of this truck, but they should look in the mirror first. They totally blew it in terms of marketing at introduction (and pre-introduction, for that matter).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have to agree that the marketing of this vehicle has been less than intelligent. For the few commercials I have seen, they've all been off-roading type commercials. I know they're trying to sell this truck to their ATV buyers, but that's not the audience they should target with a truck in this price range. They need to show why this is the best mix of an SUV and truck with a lot of neat features. Then show it where MOST people are going to have it - tooling around in the suburbs to Home Depot!

Dropping the price at this point would really, really upset me.
 

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I have to agree with the article. It is overpriced, because until just recently all Dealers in my area were asking MSRP for the vehicle. Prices are now falling into the $300 over invoice range and as of last Thursday, I now am a VERY proud owner. I loved the truck and had to bite my tongue until it became affordable. Now I have mine and I LOVE it. Way better than the $43,000 dollar Avalanche I could have bought at $33,000 with the employee prices. Like the man says "If you can find a better vehicle, buy it". I found one and did. ;)
 

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I have always been a honda driver and happened to be looking for a truck when I first caught wind of the Ridge. I will never forget what it was like back then searching for any morsel of information. I believe the secret crap bit Honda right in the butt. This was not the same as a model redesign or some three year makeover. This truck needed advertising, and alot of it. I believe WE have worked harder selling this truck than Honda or its salesforce. Heck I educated the salesmen and continue to field a barrage of questions every where I go, still including... "I dident know Honda made a truck. One last comment, I'll never forget watching the superbowl with a bunch of folks, I was the only one that knew the Ridge was to be advertised, every one watched both commercials and never said a word. If Honda wants to do anything with money, put us first time buyers on the payroll :)
 

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Could this have to do with the free give away by the big three? Recall not too long ago, there were reports of the plant upping production because of demand.

I bought mine for $300 above invoce.
As a testiment to how good a truck it is, my wife actually wants to drive the truck. She hates driving trucks, but she WANTS to drive this one. So to us, it was all worth it.
 

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The RL is just catching on. If Honda pusses out now they just lost the unquestioned loyalty of one customer. Nephew just bought a 2500 Crew 4x4 Duramax for RL price. I say the $44k sticker was BS and stuff sells for what it is worth but how do you make that known? I told him you can get a Honda under sticker and he was amazed. Price the RL that high and they will sell like hotcakes at $10k off. ;)
 

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Honda had a particular target group in mind when they designed and built this thing. To date, they have done nothing to appeal to that specific market so I agree with the others here that they need to look in the mirror and take responsibility for any lackluster sales figures.

Yes, this truck is a bit on the expensive side but so what - look at what we are getting in terms of innovation, resale value (I hope!) and safety features not to mention the reliability that always comes with the Honda name.

Having said all this, I am not happy about the prospect of lower prices since I already own one. If I were a potential buyer, however, I would be very happy indeed.
 

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I have to agree with the comments on this issue. The Owners are doing a better job of selling the Ridgeline than the advertising is. I have had three people come up to me within two days saying "WOW thats the Ridgeline?, It sure doesn't look like this on the commercials. I really like it" Marketing this as a "Off Road" vehicle was a total mistake. Show the Customer the in bed trunk, the Navigation System, not the mud you can get on it! Even the Ridgeline book isn't geared to the "potential" end user. My bets are more users buy the rear Splash Guards, than want to get mud on their trucks. BTW the person who said get a bunch of Ridgeline Books from your dealer was right on. I am distributing these like crazy...Where is my commission? :eek:
 

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More that Honda has to promote..........................

2006 Honda Ridgeline Earns Best-Ever Rollover Rating for a
2005-08-01 16:18 (New York)

Pickup


Government Testing Shows Ridgeline Safer, More Stable Than Other Pickups


TORRANCE, Calif., Aug. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
today announced that the 2006 Honda Ridgeline pickup has achieved the best
rollover resistance rating of any pickup tested by the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The results were posted today on the
NHTSA web site www.safercar.gov. Demonstrating the depth of Honda's "Safety
for Everyone" commitment, the Ridgeline earned industry-best ratings for both
the Static Stability Factor (SSF) and Dynamic Rollover test modes.
Specifically, Ridgeline earned a rating of 1.29 for the SSF test, a higher
(better) calculated result than all other pickups tested, and experienced no
"tip-up" during the dynamic test.

Earlier this year, Ridgeline, Honda's first pickup truck, was the
first-ever 4-door pickup to receive NHTSA's 5-star safety rating, the highest
safety rating possible, for both frontal and side impact crash test
performance.

"With this new rating and earlier top level ratings for frontal and side
impact crash protection, the Ridgeline is setting new standards for safety in
the pickup segment, and once again demonstrates Honda's commitment to
providing Safety for Everyone," said John Mendel, senior vice president,
automotive operations of American Honda Motor Co. "We offer our customers
products that are at once fun to drive, environmentally sound and at the
leading edge of automotive safety. We feel this is a unique position for
Honda in the marketplace."
 

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oridgenL said:
If Honda wants to do anything with money, put us first time buyers on the payroll :)

No kidding. I spend so much time defending, educating and informing about the Ridgeline on the net, I think they owe me an 06 civic or something :D There's alot of crap floating around out there about the RL which is bound to happen when people talk out their butt. :D
 

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earthgolf said:
Early sales of Honda's Ridgeline truck disappoint; high prices pegged as main problem

The Honda Ridgeline has a price problem.

The innovative V-6 pickup costs about $10,000 more than other compact trucks in the United States. And that is hurting sales, says Koichi Kondo, president of American Honda Motor Co.

...

Jim Roland, general sales manager of Heritage Honda in Baltimore, says: "It's a lovely vehicle. I think it's a tad overpriced. It's more or less priced up with the bigger trucks, but it's a small vehicle."

I keep hearing this, but it simply isn't true. I started shopping because of "the deal" that the domestics were throwing around. I got an outdated Ford Explorer Sport Trac down to around $22,000 COMPARABLY EQUIPPED and even that isn't true. The Honda had features the top-of-the-line Ford doesn't even offer.

The Chevy Colorado Z71 was around $24,500. The Dakota was around $25K as well.

I bought the RT RL for $25,500 out the door! Remember, these other trucks don't offer NAVI or half the features that the Ridge has STANDARD!

Apples to apples, the Honda MIGHT be 5%-10% more. But that's all! At that difference, it wasn't even a question...
 

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As I said in my 1st post, I couldn't wait for the Ridgeline and bought a Toyota
4 Runner last year, 2 wheel drive because I thought I would be towing someting with a potty. Low and behold we got an Aliner 1250 lbs. Now we are buying a summer place in the mtns of NC 3300 elev on country 2 lane roads, so I switched to the Ridgeline about $8k down the drain, BUT, I now have something that navagates GREAT on the 2 lane roads. People ask me how I like it. My RTL is the low end, and oldguy doesn't want a sun roof, but I have to show them all the spaces to hid things and the trunk,THE TRUNK, grabs them every time. I also tell them that it rides like a car and corners great. I maybe wrong, but I say that its basically a front wheel drive that employs 4 wheels independently when needed, and that its 4 wheel independently sprung, NO ridged truck rear axle.
 

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earthgolf said:
I have to agree that the marketing of this vehicle has been less than intelligent. For the few commercials I have seen, they've all been off-roading type commercials. I know they're trying to sell this truck to their ATV buyers, but that's not the audience they should target with a truck in this price range. They need to show why this is the best mix of an SUV and truck with a lot of neat features. Then show it where MOST people are going to have it - tooling around in the suburbs to Home Depot!

Dropping the price at this point would really, really upset me.
Earthgolf: I agree with you 100%. I didnot purchase the Ridgeline because of all the back road advertisements. I had already picked a SUV (Nissan MuranoSL) and when my wife and I both drove the Ridgeline, we were sold on the ride, safety, flexability, etc. It handles better than any SUV that I have driven. It is unbelievable how much stuff you can get in the truck. The under bed lockable truck is fabulous. It is like getting your cake and eating too!!!!!
 

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I almost got my nuts chewed off when I stated that this truck was over priced when I got the Ridgeline, also its short on accessories included in the higer priced models. Honda did make a great small truck, I know that you all agree with me on this. But did everyone get call from some PR company asking you questons about your Ridgeline for about 20 minutes, I even got a call from them at work. Come on Honda, the majoritory of us have to work. And one of the questions the asked "If you were employed as a foreman on a building site, would you drive this truck to work". Wok on building sites this truck was not designed for. And if they did lower the price I would be severly pissed.
 
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