American Honda has no plans to counter rival Toyota's newly redesigned US-market full-size Tundra pickup truck.

John Mendel, senior vice president of automotive operations for the Torrance, California-based automaker, told he doesn't see Honda building body-on-frame, full-size pickups in the near future because it goes against the automaker's strategy to market fuel-efficient vehicles. And the company sees conventional fullsize pickups as the domain of Detroit-based General Motors, Ford and the Chrysler Group.

Nissan North America launched the Titan full-size truck at the end of 2003, albeit with a limited range of models and cab styles, just one large petrol V8 engine and modest annual volume aspirations. The company is rumoured to be adding a bought-in diesel engine option soon. Toyota, meanwhile, has steadily grown its well-established Tundra to full-size over the years and is about to launch the completely redesigned, larger 2007 model.

Honda, meanwhile, has taken a different tack, launching a smaller petrol-powered V6 model called the Ridgeline aimed primarily at recreational truck users with innovative features such as an under-floor storage area that can be used as an icebox.

"Toyota's been on [the full size truck] path," Mendel, a former Ford executive, told during a recent Acura media event, adding "We're fine with Ridgeline," which Wards noted has been selling well.

The Ridgeline chalked up 26,868 sales in the first six months of 2006, and is likely to reach calendar year sales of about 54,000, in line with Honda projections.

Nissan's Titan has clocked up 44,528 sales year to date while the market-leading Ford F-series has sold 469,159.