End of the Road for the Honda Ridgeline?

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Despite a bump in sales last year, Honda is reportedly planning to discontinue the Ridgeline next year. A replacement won't arrive until 2016.

Rumors of its demise have been circulating for a few years now, but now it appears that Honda will finally ditch its Ridgeline pickup. A new report is now claiming that Honda will stop producing its Ridgeline pickup beginning in September 2014. Its eventual replacement, however, won't arrive on the market for another two years, midway through 2016. For now, details of the Ridgeline's replacement are nonexistent, but the current model's sales haven't exactly been the best.

It originally debuted as an '06 model, and in its first year sold over 50,000 units. Ever since, however, sales have dropped dramatically with only around 14,000 Ridgelines moving off Honda lots last year. What makes the Ridgeline unique when compared to other trucks is the fact that the Ridgeline really isn't a truck at all. In fact, it's based on the same platform as the Honda Pilot. What made it appealing when it launched was its unique in-bed storage box, a concept that has since been adapted by competing brands. After its two year hiatus, a new Ridgeline will return, possibly with a new name, to the compact pickup segment.

But here's the thing: this segment has been shrinking for some time now, and only Toyota and Nissan are still in it in the US market, with the Tacoma and Frontier, respectively. GM is due to launch new small trucks of its own next year with the new Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, and Ford has no US replacement for its now dead Ranger. But last year Honda launched a Ridgeline Sport model that helped improve sales over previous years, and that could be reason enough for Honda to design a new model.

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