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Honda Motor Co. is saying no more Mr. Nice Guy when it comes to selling its SUVs and trucks in an increasingly competitive market.

The company plans to revamp three key midsize vehicles — two SUVs and a pickup — by giving them beefier looks. It also will play up their off-road capabilities in marketing to appeal to more-traditional truck buyers.

Makeovers of the Passport and Pilot SUVs, along with the refreshed Ridgeline, are designed to win Honda a larger share of the expanding light-truck pie, even as demand for passenger cars continues to shrink.

“We are not on trend with the rest of the industry,” Jay Joseph, head of marketing at Honda’s U.S. sales subsidiary, told reporters in an online briefing. “We need to do a better job of telling the story of how tough and rugged our vehicles are.”

Honda says it remains committed to sedans and doesn’t have aspirations to compete alongside trucks built expressly for off-road driving.

Print Headline: Honda’s SUVs, trucks to look tougher

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