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Honda rules out double-cab ute and full-size SUV for Australia

The Japanese brand will continue to miss out on two of the biggest segments of the Australian car market.

Honda Australia says there is no prospect of adding a double-cab ute or full-size size seven-seat SUV to its local line-up, despite repeatedly requesting them from head office in Japan.

Double-cab utes were the top three sellers outright last month - Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton - and the HiLux has led the Australia new-car market for the past three years in a row.

But there is no prospect of Honda making a right-hand-drive version of the Ridgeline pick-up sold in the US because the cost to re-engineer it would be prohibitively expensive.

The Ridgeline is sold exclusively with a petrol 3.5-litre V6, whereas the Australian ute market is dominated by diesel engines.

The US also sells a full-size seven-seat SUV which is significantly larger than the seven-seat CR-V sold in Australia.

But it is also off the table for Australia for the same reasons as the ute: it’s a North America-only model and the cost of conversion to right-hand-drive isn’t viable.

“There’s no prospect of it,” said Honda Australia boss Stephen Collins, when asked about the chances of a ute for Australian showrooms. “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. Those are the two gaps we’d love to fill.”

Honda also does not have a joint venture partner globally that would enable it to adapt another brand’s ute.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling