No Honda ute for downunder

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Words: Nile Bijoux
14 Mar 2019

Honda Australia has gone on the record in saying a double-cab ute or full-size seven-seater SUV will not make it Down Under.

In both Australia and New Zealand, double-cab utes have constantly been at the top of the sales charts. Here, the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Mitsubishi Triton took the top three positions over the entire new car market last month, a situation largely mirrored across the ditch.

However, despite the lucrative market, Honda has no plans of making a right-hand-drive version of the Ridgeline pick-up sold in the States. Seems the cost to switch all the interior gear to the other side would be too expensive. Plus, Ridgeline is sold exclusively with a petrol 3.5-litre V6, whereas the ute here market is much more diesel country.

Don’t blame Honda Australia for not trying though - according to Aussie media, boss Stephen Collins has asked Honda HQ multiple times about a right-hook ute but to no avail. “We’re constantly saying there is this big chunk of the market which is growing that we don’t compete in but … there’s just nothing on the horizon.”

An SUV sitting above the CR-V is another no-go, presumably for the same reasons. North America has a bigger SUV - the Pilot - but it appears there isn’t enough profit in converting it to right-hand-drive.

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