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100 million Super Bowl viewers will see the debut of the next made-in-Alabama truck

Honda previously previewed the 2017 Ridgeline in a sketch. (Photo: Honda)
Honda previously previewed the 2017 Ridgeline in a sketch. (Photo: Honda)

Honda plans to show off the all-new 2017 Ridgeline pickup – its next Made-in-Alabama model — in a Super Bowl commercial following its unveiling at next month’s North American International Auto Show.

The automaker said Monday that the Ridgeline will make its television debut to more than 100 million viewers during the third quarter of Feb. 7’s Super Bowl 50. It will be the automaker first Super Bowl ad since 2014.

“The big game is the largest and most coveted stage to show the world that Honda is back in a big way with an all-new Ridgeline truck,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Automobile Division. “Super Bowl 50 is the right time and the right venue to communicate Honda’s continued leadership in light trucks.”

The Ridgeline’s TV debut will follow its unveiling at the auto show in Detroit, which begins Jan. 11. The show is one of the industry’s premiere events, attracting more than 5,000 journalists from 60 countries last year.

RETURN TO ALABAMA

Production of the all-new Ridgeline is slated to begin in Alabama early next year, with the pickup becoming available in dealerships nationwide in the first half of 2016.

The Ridgeline will join the Odyssey minivan, the Pilot SUV and the Acura MDX in the production line-up at Honda’s $2.2 billion assembly plant in Talladega County.

The facility in Lincoln, which employs more than 4,500, is the automaker’s U.S. light truck production center. Honda is on track to earn a new all-time record for light truck sales in 2015, with sales up 11.8 percent to nearly 600,000 vehicles through November.

Honda introduced the award-winning first-generation Ridgeline in 2005. It remained in production in Alabama until 2014, when it was paused as the next-generation model was developed.

Earlier this year, Hyundai, which produces Sonata and Elantra sedans at a $1.8 billion facility in Montgomery, also said it planned to air commercials during Super Bowl 50. Details of those ads have not been announced.

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