In this industry, "no comment" is a dead giveaway that something's up.
Kia is hard at work improving its lineup, after the Kia Telluride's dominant first year on the market, and having recently revealed its new 2022 Sedona. These are all big moves for the Korean automaker which is starting to make serious headway in the American market. While the US is growing to love Kia's range of SUVs and sedan cars, the Korean automaker is brewing something completely different behind the curtains. This is of course the Kia pickup truck that has been rumored for a while now. Kia has been tight-lipped over the development of its pickup that will compete with the likes of the Ford Ranger.
Kia has been talking about building a tough "ute" for the Australian market, which is currently seeing a major boom in sales, and made the comment that a pickup was part of its plan to sell 100,000 units in the country. Kia Motors Australia COO Damien Meredith confirmed this fact in July 2019 when he said that work had begun on a new ute. "We're talking about a pick-up, dual-cab, single-cab. What we've requested is the full gambit of a ute - diesel, and petrol," he said. Meredith pointed out that the pickup could be ready between 2022 and 2023, but since then the company has been tight-lipped about any future plans.
At the launch of the new Kia Sorento, Kia Australia product planning chief Roland Rivero was hesitant to talk about the project. "I'm under strict orders from Damien Meredith, who is actually not here, that we don't comment on the ute. Yes, there's been words mentioned in the past about it," he said. He continued to say that the project was still on Kia's radar. "It is something we're negotiating with KMC (Kia Motors Corporation), but until such time as we're allowed to comment on a global project like a ute, we won't. And at this stage, we're not." The Kia ute is planned to be a global model built on a rough and ready ladder-frame chassis and should have a one-tonne payload and 7,700 lbs towing capacity. This is not to be confused with Hyundai's smaller Santa Cruz pickup, which will be a lighter duty vehicle.