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Honda has planned to discontinue the Ridgeline in 2013, and with this move, there is an opening for a new pickup truck. The next-gen CR-V could spawn a new compact pickup variant.
The CR-V is actually based on the Civic, so the pickup would be more of car based utility vehicle much like the Ridgeline. The Ridgeline was never the top runner in the full-sized pickup sales race but that doesn’t seem to deter Honda.
Other interesting Honda updates includes the launch of an all-new Accord in 2012. The Accord is likely to return with a hybrid variant, which has not been offered since 2007. The gasoline-electric powerplant is likely to also be used in the CR-V. The Crosstour, which has had trouble selling, will be updated with a 2.4-liter four cylinder variant. The Pilot will also be refreshed in the fall of 2013 and there are rumours of the sport-tuned Mugen CR-Z being built. Lastly, Honda announced it would offer a battery-electric “commuter car” in 2012 with sources saying it will be the Fit EV.
The compact pickup segment is interesting because major updates are rare compared to other sectors of the auto industry. The RAM Dakota hasn’t received a refreshed look since 2007, and the Nissan Frontier hasn’t changed since 2005. The outgoing Ford Ranger hasn’t really changed since 1998.
This isn’t the same story for the Toyota Tacoma which will receive an updated interior, new entertainment options and revised exterior styling, however the engine and frame will remain the same. “It’s an important segment for us because it provides us with young customers,” said Bob Carter, Group Vice President and brand manager for Toyota. Carter explained that with gas prices continuing to rise, compact pickups could see a sales resurgence. Carter supported this theory by explaining the fact that Toyota sold more Tacomas than full-size Tundras through the first half of the year. The Tacomas should start rolling out in October after Toyota’s part supply situation improves to full capacity by September, following the Japanese disaster in March.
[Source: Left Lane News]