Re: Spy Photo: Honda's new Ridgeline
It will be interesting to see how the new Ridgeline will do. The current model stayed below 20k for the past 5 years of annual sales. But to date, the midsize truck sales are over 150k in just 5 months, with most offering double digit increases over last year, and growing each month.
GMs new compact trucks are making the greatest gains. While at the same time their full size trucks are making double digit gains also. Which helps Ford understand that midsize trucks don't impact sales of full size trucks, especially since the Global Ranger is smaller than GMs two midsize trucks. Midsize trucks only allow a manufacturer to offer consumers what they want in a truck, whether it's a midsize or full-size. And the consumer will go to the manufacturer who offers what want. For example, when Ford ended production of the Ranger in the US, Toyota Tacoma annual sales jump over 45k units as a direct result of Ford customers going to Toyota to buy what they wanted, since Ford decided not to offer it.
But that's changing. Without a doubt, after the full launch of the even BIGGER 2015 F-150 is done by end of 2015, the Global Ranger will launch in the US in 2016 as a MY2017. This gives 1 year for global markets to ramp up to the refreshed model(more tailored to US tastes), and only compete with the launch of the F-150 Rapture.
However, Ford will have some catching up to do. Midsize and full size truck markets are separate markets, addressing two different customer bases. Toyota has the lead in midsize trucks with GM quickly moving to the #2 spot and challenging Toyota. While at the same time GMs full size trucks currently outselling Ford's full size trucks. Which means as of today, GM leads Ford in full-size trucks, midsize trucks and overall truck sales. Along with large SUV and luxury SUV sales. GM has a product lineup and plan that is working. Ford can't afford to miss a beat/segment.
I can't help but know that with the new refresh of the global Ranger, that Ford used that opportunity to offer upgrades that makes it even easier to bring it to the US market.