Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Entry archive:

Honda has released this sketch of the next-generation Ridgeline (Honda)
Honda has released this sketch of the next-generation Ridgeline (Honda)

Driving It Home

Cato: The 'Japanese Three' must crack the full-size pickup market Add to ...

We might give Japanese auto makers a participation ribbon for their efforts in large pickups.

Yes, Nissan with the Titan, Toyota with the Tundra and Honda with the Ridgeline all deserve an “E” for effort.

Canadian sales numbers tell the story through the end of September: 2,354 Titans, 5,004 Titans and 1,471 Ridgelines. Ford of Canada sells more F-Series pickups in a month than the Japanese in nine.

More Related to this Story

This despite the promise to crack the North American full-size pickup code. Toyota spent $1.3-billion (U.S.) to build a new pickup plant in Texas for the Tundra. The Tundra plant now also builds Tacoma mid-size rigs.

Nissan celebrated the Titan’s launch, and then later explored with Chrysler the possibility of rebadging Rams as Titans to save money. Nissan now promises a new Titan with a light duty diesel.

This week Honda announced that a reinvented Ridgeline will go on sale “in less than two years,” with production of the current one ending this year.

2014 Honda Ridgeline SE
 

The original Ridgeline had some cool features in play: Car-like unibody construction, in-bed trunk and a dual-action tailgate. Honda surely has some tricks planned for the next one, too.

But tricks won’t fix this problem. What will? A Japanese Three commitment to big pickups, just as the Detroit Three have committed to making small and mid-size cars. In pickups, that means a long roster of engine choices, rear-ends, bed sizes, cab configurations and all the rest.

The Japanese Three have left full-size pickups to Detroit. Why? This is a hugely lucrative segment and the foundation of the Detroit Three’s entire business. And the Japanese Three have given the Detroit Three a free ride here.

How odd.

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at globedrive@globeandmail.com.

Follow us on Twitter @Globe_Drive.

Add us to your circles.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Follow on Twitter: @catocarguy

 
Security Price Change
HMC-N Honda Motor 34.99 -0.42
-1.186 %
Add to watchlist
Live Discussion of HMC on StockTwits
More Discussion on HMC-N

More Related to this Story

In the know

Most popular video »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most Popular Stories