Trucks are some of the best selling vehicles in America today, and automakers that don’t usually make trucks, like Honda or Tesla, have taken notice. But with that said, some hardcore traditional truck fans not only refuse to buy these trucks, but they also refuse to call them trucks at all. Here’s what Honda has to say about those critics who don’t see the Ridgeline as a real truck.
Just a good business strategy
Trucks and SUVs are two of the most profitable vehicle body types for an automaker to make, and that’s especially true for Ford. Honda has seen the numbers, and as Steven Center, who’s the chief of sales for Honda America, said in an interview with Trucks, Honda’s just making what the customers want.
It’s true that Honda is more well-known for its Civic and Odyssey models, but Honda’s noticed that, in America especially, its customers want SUVs and trucks. So naturally, Honda’s created and sold SUVs and trucks for Americans. That said, Center also mentions that while Americans seem to love the SUVs that Honda’s making, Americans still love the sedans that Honda makes as well.
Center says that the first car purchase for an American tends to be a sedan rather than a truck. So, while Honda is shifting to cater to truck lovers, Honda also isn’t going to be ignoring its sedan lovers either.
What is a truck anyways?
On top of that, Center gets technical and mentions that a lot of vehicles that Americans don’t typically call a truck are technically a truck. For instance, Center says that technically speaking, the Odyssey minivan is considered a light truck. That’s because Center and the U.S. Department of Transportation don’t define trucks as most Americans would.
If you ask an average American what makes a truck a truck, they might say that if it has a truck bed, then it’s a truck. But the Department of Transportation, according to Trucks, says that a truck is simply defined as a vehicle that isn’t a sedan that has a high enough ride height and ground clearance. So under that definition, 70% of new car sales in America, including the Honda CR-V, are technically trucks.
Honda keeps it real with the Ridgeline
Obviously, that definition is very loose and many Americans may not agree with it. And while some diehard Ford, Chevy, or Ram fans may disagree, any vehicle with a truck bed, such as the Honda Ridgeline, is more than likely a truck. So while Center and Honda could be cute and use the Department of Transportation’s definition of a truck, Center keeps it real when he defended the Ridgeline being a truck.
At the end of the day, a truck has a lot of purposes, and a lot of them have to do with its truck bed. And the Honda Ridgeline has a great truck bed that’s capable and loaded with features that makes it useful in many recreational activities. That’s ultimately why Center says that the Ridgeline is a truck.
Sure, it may not tow or haul as much as some heavier duty trucks can, but the Ridgeline, as Center says, is a truck meant for Honda’s fans. Center says that Honda fans tend to be outdoorsy people, and the Ridgeline is the perfect truck for them. So, while the Ridgeline may not compete with Ford or Chevy in some areas, the Ridgeline does beat those company’s trucks in other areas.
That was the goal of the Ridgeline, according to Center. Honda wanted to make a truck for Honda fans and, as far as anyone can tell, the company has done that job well.