Spied: 2016 Honda Ridgeline

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We've known a new Honda Ridgeline was coming at some point this year as a 2016 model so it seems appropriate to start seeing test prototypes running around for testing. Here's what our spies have just caught and what they're hearing.

"We now have the first photos of a prototype 2016 Honda Ridgeline, caught with a long lens. These new shots seem to confirm Honda's earlier teaser outlines, which suggested that the new Ridgeline will have a more traditional pickup design — at least in silhouette. Gone are the buttress-style front rails that aimed to smooth some of the sharp lines of basic truck design.

"The 2016 Ridgeline prototype was running nose-to-tail with the first-generation model, allowing an excellent opportunity to gauge the general size.From what we can tell, the footprint of the new Ridgeline will be similar to the original model. The evidence generated by these first shots seems to suggest that the new pickup will continue to use some of the unibody chassis of the 2016 Honda Pilot. If our estimates are correct, it appears that the Ridgeline will compete with the rejuvenated Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, along with the just-released 2016 Toyota Tacoma.

"Our sources at marketing research firm AutoPacific tell us to expect powertrains using Honda's Earth Dreams efficiency technologies. There was some speculation that a continuously variable transmission could be in play, but given the apparent Pilot-based architecture of the new truck, that seems unlikely now. We are told to look out for the possible inclusion of Honda's new SH-AWD hybrid system developed for larger vehicles, which could be added to give some technological uniqueness in a crowded and competitive landscape."

We'll know more when we find out if Honda will be showing any kind of concept vehicle at the Chicago (February) or New York (April) auto shows. If not those two, than possibly at the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas in November.

KGP Photography images

 

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Hondaridgeline.com01.kgp.ed II

 

 

Comments

@papa jim--I not going to get in another debate with you but the more standardized equipment is on a vehicle the less variation on the assembly. Yes the dealers want to sell as high a trim package as they can because of the profit, but as you pointed out how may 50k and up crew cab trucks can you sell? Not everyone needs, wants, or can afford a 50k truck. Maybe you can afford a 50k truck but many cannot. Why do manufacturers offer only 1 or 2 interior colors and types and a handful of exterior color options where in the past they offered a large assortment of exterior and interior colors? According to what you are saying it is just as cheap for a manufacturer to offer numerous colors with matching interiors. The same is true for electric motors versus hand crank windows. If a manufacturer is going to offer electric windows on some models then if they buy parts in volume it is just as cheap to order more electric motors and get a lower cost per unit. As for air conditioning how many vehicles do you know that are sold new without air conditioning? What is the resale value of any vehicle without air conditioning? It is not that much more expensive to add air, power steering power window, and power brakes. The marketing costs are much more than the additional cost of making a few additional items standard equipment.

@JeffS

Colors? The manufacturers offer what the dealers are asking for. Air Conditioning? Same.

It's about the dealers. Have you noticed that Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and Honda refuse to discount much from the MSRP?

Those four companies embrace a Japanese cultural thing from the past where the fathers, the captains, the masters are respected (not necessarily liked...) and they are obeyed.

Apart from that, you have the American makes and they discount as much as 20 percent pretty routinely. The big European makers are even worse--their dealers take huge discounts off list, but they make huge profits on options so they don't care.

But please believe me, it's not about reducing shop-floor costs or cutting cycle times in the shop.

They strive for that but not by reducing the choices for the customer. The modern ERP and supply chain systems in the plants can offer a crazy amount of configurations. They love it.

@papa jim--A lot less inventory is needed at a plant if there are very limited colors and options. Just in time inventory is a good reason for having less variation. If is harder to stock 5 different colors of interior than one or two. It is easier to stock a limited amount of electric motors than an assortment of hand cranks for windows. Less variety in parts means that any part that is in stock will be used. This is not just beneficial for dealers but for the manufacturer. Stock less parts and depend on more deliveries of parts, which also save extra costs for storing parts that might sit around for a while. Unless you are talking about a King Ranch or Platinum edition why would you want to stock extra red leather seats. Why do you want to stock extra parts for a 15k to 20k vehicle when your profit margins are less. If you are willing to pay 50k for a truck you are probably willing to pay extra for that matching red leather interior.

As for Toyota and Honda holding to their sticker I have first hand knowledge of that buying a new 2013 CRV. The dealer would not budge from the sticker but the Winter package with front and back mud flaps and all weather mats were thrown in at no extra cost (I realize the dealer has a large markup but at least it was something). Also no money down and 0.9% interest for 5 years--so no discount and the wife wanted it so I took the low interest loan and the decent trade-in for a 13 year old Taurus which they sold within days on their car lot with financing.

I have had a 08 and now my wife has a 12. Most practical all around machine I have ever owned. I had a 06 SC F-150, a 07 SC F-250 with the TD and the Ridge does everything well. The Fords were sexy but lived in the shop. The 150 had a trans go at 6K and the 250's seat foam became misshapen within months of purchasing the truck causing back issues. Ford treated me like a criminal during the warranty process and never did anything about the seat. 6' 180 pounds....hardly a SD seat design.
I put 95K on my 08 Ridgeline. 70K on the OEM Michelin tires and 83K on the brakes. All I did was change the fluids and smile. Traded my wife's demonic Grand Cherokee Limited and the 08 in for a 12 RTL for the wife and picked up a 12 C300 sport for myself. Love the Ridge and laugh at the doubters. Darn things are a investment both financially and practically.
Can't wait for the new one.

@Matt--No complaints with my wife' 2013 CRV. My wife had a 77 Accord hatchback that she bought new and had for over 17 years.

@Jeff S

You just don't get it, Jeff. The manufacturers don't "stock" stuff in warehouses waiting until someone wants one. Their suppliers deliver what they need in almost perfect sync with the colors, trims and parts listed in the shop-floor scheduling system.

The system says "have it here Tuesday afternoon at 2:30..." and you better that Honda's supplies comply.

Failure to do so means losing a marquee account. Honda is very demanding to work with but their dynamic shop floor systems re-invented ERP in the auto industry.

Please believe me, Ford or GM having stuff sitting in a warehouse waiting to be installed on cars went out with the leisure suit.

@papa jim--You did not read what I said. Do you even know what "Just In Time " is? More standardized parts eliminates warehousing. You have to have some parts on hand at the factory otherwise you will have no parts to assemble with. A factory has to have a few parts on hand, but with frequent deliveries of parts and suppliers that locate nearby it saves manufactures money. So don't say that standardization of parts does not save manufacturers money. Maybe you know about dealers but manufacturers for the most part use "Just In Time" saves manufacturers real money. Also you have to look at the suppliers who don't want to get stuck with different colors of interiors. Less choice gives the suppliers more flexibility with supplying manufacturers and allows them to provide a better price to the manufacturer. You are analyzing a microscopic part of the process.

@Jeff S

Google "dynamic sequencing shop floor"

JIT has been around since the 1970s and it's great if your plant has five or ten vendors supplying the bulk of the raw materials and/or sub assemblies. JIT was the great grandfather of today's sequencing systems.

Honda, Toyota and GM each have hundreds of vendors whose products are too numerous to stash at the manufacturers site. They use sequencing to time the arrival of various assemblies and coordinate the shop floor schedule to the daily or hourly plan the plant manager's team has in place.

I've done it.

@papa jim--Good point but without standardization of parts and having less extra options available it would be very difficult to have that dynamic sequencing of the shop floor or to have the just in time system. Try having that with many different options and parts. Easier to know what a specific trim level will have on it than to offer too many options on that specific trim. Easier to supply a gray or black interior with the exterior color than to have the option of matching the interior with the exterior color. If you want heated seats in most vehicles you have to go to the highest trim level with a moon roof, blue tooth, satelite radio, heated mirrors and a host of other items that come with that trim level. My parents ordered several new cars in the 60's one a red 62 Chevy II 300 red with a red interior with padded dash and extra chrome with hub caps instead of wheel covers (Oct 61 one of the 1st Chevy II's) and that beige 64 Impala 9 passenger wagon with the built in luggage rack and the brown vinyl kid proof interior with hub caps instead of wheel covers (my mother and I would have like wheel covers better but my old man was a tightwad and worried that someone might steal those flashy wheel covers). The 64 Impala was delivered Dec 31, 1963 just in time for New Year's. At least my father didn't go cheap on the engine--327 V-8 Quadrajet Rodchester carb.

Today you do not have that option and special order cars are not that common. The good thing is that it is more profitable to sell the extras in a higher trim level and this saves the manufacturer the additional cost of having to stock parts thus being able to have them delivered several times a day as you stated. The bad thing is that the customer might not really want or need those extras when they want just a few of those things on that extra things that they have to pay for. That is just the way things are, it is what it is. This works for the dealers, the manufacturers, and the suppliers you cannot say it just benefits just the dealers

...without standardization of parts and having less extra options available it would be very difficult to have that dynamic sequencing of the shop floor or to have the just in time system

@Jeff S

check out the available configurations for the Ford F150.

Case closed.

Yes but you pay extra for those configurations on an F-150. Not exactly affordable for the average Joe. That red leather interior on the King Ranch interior is marked up well above cost. More affordable vehicles do not have that much variation. Wasn't it you that said that most people could not afford those well optioned half ton crew cab pickups and that there was a market for more affordable options. You are contradicting yourself unless 60k is the new low for affordable options. Feed them cake.

@Jeff S

Have a cup of coffee! Seriously. The cost of leather on a 1 percenter sort of truck is unrelated to our conversation.

I said that mid size and compact trucks need to offer customers a spartan trim as standard equipment or at least as an option. Many customers would select a fleet trimmed truck if local dealers offered it.

Product-Configuration solutions for shop floor scheduling is what allows that King Ranch to sell for 65K instead of 90 or 100k.

Without automation and highly refined systems you couldn't do it. It's why RAM was the weak sister in half ton trucks for so many years. When Daimler integrated their unique manufacturing systems with those at Chrysler, the whole line up was improved.

Ok, you have a cup of coffee as well. That is my point is that when you had too many different options and configurations then you add more cost and complexity. For a base truck to work you have to limit the complexity and the amount of options. GM has very limited colors and interiors on the Colorado/Canyon and to get more options you have to go to a much higher trim level. I can see a more spartan trim on trucks but actually the Chevy Colorado offers that on their Base trim model with 6 speed manual, black cloth and vinyl interior, and a choice of white, black, or silver exterior color. But then again that Base model Colorado has power windows, power
brakes, power steering, air conditioning, back up camera, with AM/FM Stereo with ports for you I-tunes. About the only option on the base Colorado is a block heater. I myself would be very happy with a Base Colorado in silver with a block heater. This gets back to the original comment that manufacturers will just include certain items as standard equipment that were options because of costs and just for simplicity.

Yes the 65k Platinum would be much more but again they offer the red leather with a black dash which is standard on all their trucks. There is always something that is standard and the manufacturer will still look for ways to cut costs.

@Jeff S

As soon as enough dealers demand it, Detroit (and Tokyo) will make it for them--otherwise, not.

I like the "old" Ridgeline but Honda just didn't keep up with the "user interface" stuff other manufacturers were including. You had to get the top of the line RTL w/Navi or SE to get Homelink or Bluetooth. Standard on the Frontier. Gas mileage, on all of the 10 year plus products, definitely needs updating. Hope they keep the in-bed trunk.

Honda has to offer two engines.One 4cylinder abut 200 hp beter gas milage less proformance. Second engine v6 cylinder305to 310 hp beter proformance less gas milage.But at least you can haual a 3500 lb load like a boat. Also top model must have all the bells and whisles.

To whomever called Honda junk,
My truck is a Honda, I have had FIVE Honda motorcycles, and I have a Honda lawnmower. None of them are junk, and none of them have given me an ounce of trouble. Your comments are completely unsupported, and bear little reality to the quality of their product. With all of the Honda's I have had over my lifetime, the only problem I ever had was a leak in my power steering hose, which was nothing. Currently at 80,000 miles of city/highway driving with no issues whatsoever.

I have owned 3 ridgelines a 2006,2009 and a 2012 all with over 145,000 miles on their odometer before being sold. By far the BEST vehicle I have ever owned . Sole complaint is gas mileage. I would definitely buy a 2016 equipped with a Diesel or some sort of Hybrid configuration. Comfortable, great Sunday hauler to the track and Costco. All required just regular oil changes and a set of replacement Michellins at ~120,000 miles ! . Zero visits to the dealer for anything other than oil changes, filters.

If it does not fit in garage, it is no different than any other 4-door pickups out there.

Had a 1973 & 1974 civic, many miles on each. Also 2000 CRV
Would be driving a Ridgeline, but wife hated it! SO DRIVING A ROUGH RIDING 2011 Nissan crew cab Frontier. Love the pickup, hate the ride!

me buy one



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