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Thanks to @Carsmak for suggesting this article. While I don't entirely agree with every statement the author makes, I think it's a good read and the facts seem reasonable.


Honda marketing VP Jay Joseph, Automotive News reported, says Honda, "is targeting Ridgeline sales to grow from about 35,000 per year to 50,000 based on the redesign and marketing."

Honda has marketed the Ridgeline so little and it seems a large section of the population still doesn't know the Ridgeline exists, I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility that a marketing campaign alone could increase sales by 50%.

The Ridgeline has nevertheless proven to be a consistent performer – a consistently underwhelming performer, mind you, but definitely consistent.

I wish the author would have expounded on this statement. While it's clear the Ridgeline doesn't have as much off-road or towing capability as other mid-size trucks, it excels in most other metrics in terms of safety, features, ride quality, handling, quietness, efficiency, utility. is one of the fastest, and has a payload capacity similar and sometimes greater than some full-size trucks. I'm not convinced that "underwhelming" is a fair descriptor for the Ridgeline.

Almost completely on the basis of new front-end styling, with no engineering changes to speak of, Honda believes that the second-generation Ridgeline will enter its fifth model year and turn from being a truck that produces roughly 33,000 sales per year into a truck that attracts 50,000 buyers per year.

New grille, LED bulbs, no alterations to the underpinnings or interior design – bang bam boom, let’s call it a night?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it? If you skip the 2020 year model and compare a 2017-2019 to a 2021, the list of differences is significant. What else does the author want from the Ridgeline that won't detract from the things that make it great? Personally, I'd like to see full LED lighting, a full-width center armrest, elimination of VCM and idle stop, and Honda's 10-speed automatic.
 

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That article should be on FAILBLOG.

Still no V8 engine. Lousy towing capacity.

Crappy 9 speed transmission ( put back the good gen 1 5 speed transmission and I might come back).

Yep, Honda Fails Again.

Still a Pilot with a pickup bed and Tacoma like front end now.

Bring back the Gen 1 with Modern Dash and connectivity, and Gen 1 reliablity and it would sell today.
 

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I saw that article online, also. With no appreciable change in ground clearance, I will be waiting for someone to attempt to change the headlights, hood, grill, and bumper on their 2017-2020 with the new redesigned parts. Even if it were $4K, it would still be much less expensive that upgrading.

The same problem still exists, where is Honda going to produce these extra Ridgelines, if it is basically just a filler product? I imagine Pilot sales will shrink if Honda does not update it soon.
 
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I have already shared my perception of the Ridgeline, (El Camino), so it will be fun and interesting to watch to see if Honda's "making the Ridgeline look more rugged" actually pans out. I think it will depend mostly on advertising, if folks see the "new" Ridgeline advertised often enough, they may be "coaxed" into liking it!
Bill
 

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The same problem still exists, where is Honda going to produce these extra Ridgelines, if it is basically just a filler product?
My guess is that they'll still be built at HMA.

This article from July 2018 states that the second of two expansions at HMA is expected to be completed "in early 2021". Honda said the 2021 Ridgeline is set to launch "early next year" which would be...early 2021.

 

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I predict they will fall a bit shy of 50K units, but I think this new front end will definitely sell more. More advertising exposure will help. IMO Honda had to do something because the competition is coming, and the trend is away from sedans.
 

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I think increasing sales from 33K to 50K per year is very possible.

50,000 - 33,000 = 17,000 additional units per year / 12 months = 1,416 units per month = 47 units per day

That requires only ONE additional Ridgeline PER STATE sold each day. An advertising school dropout could accomplish that.

A 50% increase from 33,000 Ridgelines per year is trivial. Now, a 50% increase from 897,000 F-150's per year is virtually impossible.

Historically, Honda hasn't had enough manufacturing capacity to build many more Ridgelines. If you spend millions advertising a product that you can't build, you've wasted your money. Honda makes the same amount of profit for each vehicle sold regardless of what a dealer sells it for.
 

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Agree. And, with the optional dealer-installed packages (whatever those turn out to be), there could be a lot more interest cooked up.
 

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My guess is that they'll still be built at HMA.

This article from July 2018 states that the second of two expansions at HMA is expected to be completed "in early 2021". Honda said the 2021 Ridgeline is set to launch "early next year" which would be...early 2021.

This is a good point. There have been many times where we thought Honda could sell more Ridgelines, but they weren't available at dealers, at least not in much choice of colors and trims. My nearest Honda dealer would have 300 new vehicles on the lot, and 2-3 of them would be Ridgelines.

Limited production capacity has surely played a part in sales. Heck, there were only two RTL-Es within 500 miles of me last December, so I had to settle on an RTL!

People say it doesn't sell, but they only focus on total numbers at the end of the month. Meanwhile, the truck remains the second-fastest selling mid-size out there.
 

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I have already shared my perception of the Ridgeline, (El Camino), so it will be fun and interesting to watch to see if Honda's "making the Ridgeline look more rugged" actually pans out. I think it will depend mostly on advertising, if folks see the "new" Ridgeline advertised often enough, they may be "coaxed" into liking it!
Bill
The Ridgeline is rugged and works offroad here on the Texas coast. Does it climb mountain trails? Don't know. We don't have them here. But it tows boats, drives the beaches, bayfronts, and banks of the waterfront in south Texas. Rugged is not an on-off switch. It's a range and the vast majority of people use very little of that rugged capability of any trucks. Of course some do need and use more capability, and there are trucks for that too.

So having a Ridgeline look as "rugged" as it actually is in operation, will be a desireable selling point for some, even with no significant new capability. I can easily see more buyers coming to a more rugged looking truck that matches its rugged capabilities and visually separates it from the minivan.
 

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So having a Ridgeline look as "rugged" as it actually is in operation, will be a desirable selling point for some, even with no significant new capability. I can easily see more buyers coming to a more rugged looking truck that matches its rugged capabilities and visually separates it from the minivan.
Thanks for the sense of humor, it really helps to lighten the topic! (y)

Bill
 

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After reading the article, I Agree with zroger, if you are going to look at the 2021 and see what they have done to gain a bigger share you have to look at what the 2020 also added. When you throw in the tailgate lock, rear door opening wider, new trans, paddle shifter and add that to the 2021 you have a lot of changes and upgrades.

A little more ground clearance and the ability to tow another 3000 pounds would put the NART argument to rest
 

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After reading the article, I Agree with zroger, if you are going to look at the 2021 and see what they have done to gain a bigger share you have to look at what the 2020 also added. When you throw in the tailgate lock, rear door opening wider, new trans, paddle shifter and add that to the 2021 you have a lot of changes and upgrades.

A little more ground clearance and the ability to tow another 3000 pounds would put the NART argument to rest
@DriveAllNight I seriously doubt 3k is achievable, 1k - 1500 would put it in the middle of the class. I will research this again and add to this post...
 

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I have already shared my perception of the Ridgeline, (El Camino), so it will be fun and interesting to watch to see if Honda's "making the Ridgeline look more rugged" actually pans out. I think it will depend mostly on advertising, if folks see the "new" Ridgeline advertised often enough, they may be "coaxed" into liking it!
Bill
I don’t remember seeing a Ridgeline commercial in a while, but I’ve seen the new one a few times on the 2021 model during football games lately. Matter of fact, there was just one aired during the Alabama - Georgia game a few minutes ago. It could be I’m more attuned to anything Honda now, but it sure seems like they are pushing the new model.
 

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It's a stretch for sure, but I believe the Canyon and the Ranger are around that range
Ranger is up to 7500lbs, and Canyon is up to 7700lbs. Those are in trims that no one wants or buys. For example, the Canyon requires a diesel 2wd with Altitude package. Most of the diesel Canyons are rated for 7000lbs.

The dirty little secret is that ALL mid-size trucks start at 3500lbs tow rating. Everybody likes to quote max tow numbers, but again, those are packages that nobody buys.

I'd be willing to bet that if you averaged the tow ratings of all mid-sized trucks sold, Ridgeline is probably right in the middle of the pack, if not a little more.
 

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Ranger is up to 7500lbs, and Canyon is up to 7700lbs. Those are in trims that no one wants or buys. For example, the Canyon requires a diesel 2wd with Altitude package. Most of the diesel Canyons are rated for 7000lbs.

The dirty little secret is that ALL mid-size trucks start at 3500lbs tow rating. Everybody likes to quote max tow numbers, but again, those are packages that nobody buys.

I'd be willing to bet th if you averaged the tow ratings of all mid-sized trucks sold, Ridgeline is probably right in the middle of the pack, if not a little more.
Yea, I tend to forget that the numbers they throw around in every review seem to be limited to very select models.
Marketing 101
 
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