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Maybe someday Honda will understand how to push the RL past 3,300 units sold per month. With relatively modest changes or optional equipment, they could expand the truck's appeal to customers who are attracted by its many unibody advantages but turned away by soft styling and off-pavement limitations.

It doesn't make sense that the most highly-awarded mid-sized pickup in the US captures such a tiny share of the booming truck market. Sure, Honda would have to juggle production schedules to make more Ridgelines but I thought adapting to market demand is how car companies prosper.
 

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Maybe someday Honda will understand how to push the RL past 3,300 units sold per month. With relatively modest changes or optional equipment, they could expand the truck's appeal to customers who are attracted by its many unibody advantages but turned away by soft styling and off-pavement limitations.

It doesn't make sense that the most highly-awarded mid-sized pickup in the US captures such a tiny share of the booming truck market. Sure, Honda would have to juggle production schedules to make more Ridgelines but I thought to market demand is how car companies prosper.
So, the RL satisfies magazine criteria but doesn't satisfy buyer criteria. Of the 40k or so produced many are heavily discounted. What's gives? IMO it goes back to the "real truck" argument as price can no longer be used as a reason for low sales. I think the RL needs younger buyers not older guys that are within a vehicle or two of their last vehicle purchase. If a truck buyer sees the RL as a minivan then nothing can be done regardless of how good the RL is, it's probably a niche vehicle and Honda probably knows this. It's got to be tough for Honda seeing all those Tacomas sold and know that they have nothing that can be produced in numbers to compete or have buyers lining up. Does there come a point where Honda has to take an approach to offer more than 40k vehicles in a truck market? I see the future of the Ridgeline like a coin standing on its edge, it could easily stay in production just as easily it could be dropped. This was probably as good at is was going to get for the RL because of the discounts. All that's left to do is the styling and if that doesn't move the needle then we have our answers.

Expect more of the same for next year as projections are for a decline of 300,000 units. I think Honda has mostly refreshes for it's bread and butter models, and there is plenty of competition and the heavy discounts will stop. It's already a given that the Accord will sell less as an assembly line shift has been eliminated. Pilot and Accord being down has got to be tough.
 

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I traveled 350 miles one way to get my RTL. The deal was struck over the internet and I just had to show up to get the truck and they gave me what I expected from my 2012 Miata. There was a local dealer and one 100 miles away but neither would match the distant dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #124
So, the RL satisfies magazine criteria but doesn't satisfy buyer criteria. Of the 40k or so produced many are heavily discounted. What's gives? IMO it goes back to the "real truck" argument as price can no longer be used as a reason for low sales. I think the RL needs younger buyers not older guys that are within a vehicle or two of their last vehicle purchase. If a truck buyer sees the RL as a minivan then nothing can be done regardless of how good the RL is, it's probably a niche vehicle and Honda probably knows this. It's got to be tough for Honda seeing all those Tacomas sold and know that they have nothing that can be produced in numbers to compete or have buyers lining up. Does there come a point where Honda has to take an approach to offer more than 40k vehicles in a truck market? I see the future of the Ridgeline like a coin standing on its edge, it could easily stay in production just as easily it could be dropped. This was probably as good at is was going to get for the RL because of the discounts. All that's left to do is the styling and if that doesn't move the needle then we have our answers.

Expect more of the same for next year as projections are for a decline of 300,000 units. I think Honda has mostly refreshes for it's bread and butter models, and there is plenty of competition and the heavy discounts will stop. It's already a given that the Accord will sell less as an assembly line shift has been eliminated. Pilot and Accord being down has got to be tough.
Of course, that's assuming that Honda has wanted the Ridgeline to sell in greater numbers. @csimo mentioned a few years ago that Honda didn't even want a second generation Ridgeline. What was to be the second generation was scrapped. It is my understanding that a few, passionate individuals within Honda begged for a second generation and Honda finally gave in, but with the caveat that it would have to be based off the Pilot to minimize cost. While the midsize truck market is a bit hotter today than it was 4-5 years ago, Honda's piece of that pie remains small - if not even smaller since there are additional models such as the Ranger and Gladiator that didn't exist then which has increased total midsize truck sales while Ridgeline sales have held somewhat level. Honda needs the Accord, Civic, and CR-V. If sedan sales continue to shrink, the Pilot will become more important. The Passport is barely selling better than the Ridgeline, but they share so much in common with the Pilot that it's likely cost effective to continue making them.
 

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The Passport is barely selling better than the Ridgeline, but they share so much in common with the Pilot that it's likely cost effective to continue making them.
As I have said so many times before, I believe that Honda considers the Ridgeline to be an extension of their SUV market rather that a separate, stand alone, truck design. Like it or not, many buyers consider the SUV as being "feminine", so, to attract men to the market Honda added the pickup look, making it more "masculine", a marketing ploy that appears to be working. So, when you consider Honda SUV selling numbers, that is where you actually need to include the Ridgeline.

Bill
 

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Of course, that's assuming that Honda has wanted the Ridgeline to sell in greater numbers. @csimo mentioned a few years ago that Honda didn't even want a second generation Ridgeline. What was to be the second generation was scrapped. It is my understanding that a few, passionate individuals within Honda begged for a second generation and Honda finally gave in, but with the caveat that it would have to be based off the Pilot to minimize cost. While the midsize truck market is a bit hotter today than it was 4-5 years ago, Honda's piece of that pie remains small - if not even smaller since there are additional models such as the Ranger and Gladiator that didn't exist then which has increased total midsize truck sales while Ridgeline sales have held somewhat level. Honda needs the Accord, Civic, and CR-V. If sedan sales continue to shrink, the Pilot will become more important. The Passport is barely selling better than the Ridgeline, but they share so much in common with the Pilot that it's likely cost effective to continue making them.
So, Honda has a platform filler truck and is missing out on a big market segment. The Pilot, the basis for the platform is way down this year, not good. When looking at the sales numbers, the only model that looks promising and is doing more than holding its own is the HRV.
 

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As I have said so many times before, I believe that Honda considers the Ridgeline to be an extension of their SUV market rather that a separate, stand alone, truck design...
Maybe, but I'm not convinced there is a single mindset at Honda for the RL. Brochures flash images of the RL roughing it while TV ads push the truck's versatility and toughness. Then Honda lifts the RL and spotlights its Overland potential for SEMA. Yet they've offered nothing from the factory in the way of a modest "off-road" edition except some poorly-executed fender flares. And now they've apparently punted on a chance to toughen-up the front styling with a 2020 refresh.

Most here will remember the big G2 rollout press event at "Camp Ridgeline" in trucky Texas where Honda ran the new RL against competing trucks from Toyota, GM and Nissan through a series of on- and off-pavement challenge courses. So at times it seems like Honda really wants a decent chunk of the popular pickup market, while at other times their efforts to attract those new buyers seem feckless.
 

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Discussion Starter #128 (Edited)
3,757 Ridgelines sold in the US in December 2019 - that's the highest since March 2017 and best December since 2016. It's up 31% over last December and 9% over last year.

The HR-V was the only Honda model up more than the Ridgeline over last year. Most Honda models saw decreases.
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All in all in a down market I think Honda held serve with the exception of the Pilot. This is an updated vehicle that was down in sales. Anyone have an explanation? Highlander for 2019 was the older model. Yes, Palisade and Telluride and the Passport probably had an impact as well as deals on 2018 Pilots before the 2019 refresh but there's something else going on to contribute the the 24k decrease in Pilot sales. There is plenty of Pilot inventory.

Also, anyone know what the expectation per month for the Passport, I'm guessing it is below expectations as there are decent deals.
 

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3,757 Ridgelines sold in the US in December 2019 - that's the highest since March 2017 and best December since 2016. It's up 31% over last December and 9% over last year.

The HR-V was the only Honda model up more than the Ridgeline over last year. Most Honda models saw decreases.
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It's not often that we get to see Ridgeline mentioned in the highlights of a Honda press release.

I wonder if any Pilot sales were pirated away by the Ridgeline, if potential showroom buyers saw the Ridgeline deals and actually compared the two rides?
 

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Discussion Starter #131
All in all in a down market I think Honda held serve with the exception of the Pilot. This is an updated vehicle that was down in sales. Anyone have an explanation? Highlander for 2019 was the older model. Yes, Palisade and Telluride and the Passport probably had an impact as well as deals on 2018 Pilots before the 2019 refresh but there's something else going on to contribute the the 24k decrease in Pilot sales. There is plenty of Pilot inventory.

Also, anyone know what the expectation per month for the Passport, I'm guessing it is below expectations as there are decent deals.
The Telluride+Palisade have been matching or exceeding Pilot sales for several months now. They've been selling near or over MSRP. I'm sure Honda and others are not pleased, but hopefully it will result in a better Pilot. The T+P are no joke.
 

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Here is a view of all mid-size truck sales in North America (minus Mexico because no one seems to track those sales). The Ridgeline is unfortunately last for 2019. At least the Gen1 was third or fourth to last during its life and the Gen2 has second to last in 2017 (beating the Canyon).
 
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