The Japanese automaker announced that the 2017 Ridgeline pickup has begun to be mass-build at Honda’s Alabama plant in the US.
As the new generation of the midsized Ridgeline pickup is getting ready to hit the US showrooms, Honda has begun mass production at its Alabama facility. The automaker hopes that the model’s return will have better luck this time. Honda first introduced the Ridgeline back in 2005, as a smaller and lighter alternative to the more hard-cored trucks on the market, but low sales numbers forced the company to pull the plug on production of the 2015 and 2016 model years.
“We celebrate the dedication of our Alabama team in bringing a very innovative new pickup truck to market,” Jeff Tomko, president of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, said. “I congratulate all of our associates for their commitment to our customers as the Ridgeline returns with new features that will deliver even more of what today’s truck customers want and need.”
Initially built by Honda of Canada Manufacturing until 2008, when assembly relocated Alabama, the new Ridgeline is produced alongside the Pilot sport utility vehicle and Odyssey minivan, as well as the Acura MDX luxury SUV.
The Alabama plant is celebrating its 15th year of production and employs 4,500 workers at its 3.7-million-square-foot Lincoln facility that has the capacity to build as many as 340,000 vehicles and engines each year, following a 510-miilion-dollars investment from Honda over the past three years.
Unveiled at the 2016 North American International Auto Show, the 2017 Honda Ridgeline comes for the first time as an all-wheel drive and FWD model, with the only engine under the hood being a 3.5-liter V6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.