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Honda Ridgeline may be near the end of the line

Mon, 12 Apr 2010

Honda is likely to kill the poor-selling Ridgeline unibody pickup after the 2011 model year.

"There will be a model-year 2011 Honda Ridgeline but we haven't announced anything beyond that," Honda spokeswoman Christina Ra said.

The Ridgeline was introduced in 2005, sharing some chassis components with the Acura MDX SUV. It is one of few unibody pickups ever made for sale in the United States, and on that count it was fairly revolutionary. As a result, it won many accolades at its introduction, including numerous truck of the year plaudits.

The truck also carries a few surprise and delight features, including a "trunk" that opened up in its somewhat abbreviated truck bed. The Ridgeline has all-wheel drive, a fairly powerful 3.5-liter V6 and it rides and drives much like a car.

But demand for the Ridgeline never approached that of traditional, full-sized, body-on-frame trucks from domestic manufacturers. The Ridgeline was freshened for 2009 but no other significant changes were made or are planned. Sales peaked in the Ridgeline's first full year on the market in 2006 at 50,193 and fell off steadily after that.

"It's a very nice concept, a very nice car. But the sales aren't so successful," executive vice president Koichi Kondo said of the trucklet in 2008.

By Mark Vaughn