There's Bad News About Kia's New Pickup Truck

Trucks / Comments

If you were hoping for a Kia rival to the Ford Ranger, you won't be happy to hear this.

Now that the Hyundai Santa Cruz has hit the market, we've been waiting for Kia to unveil its own long-rumored pickup truck. For years, Kia has hinted it wants to build a dual-cab "ute" for the Australian market to take on the mid-size Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux pickup trucks. However, speaking with Australia's Cars Guide, Kia Australia's chief operating officer Damien Meredith has downplayed the prospect of Kia entering the pickup market.

"I think it's probably a long shot," Meredith told the publication when asked about the long-rumored Kia ute. The development of a Kia pickup appeared to have been given the green light back in 2020 for a possible 2022 launch.

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Kia

Kia's executives seemed excited when told Meredith told them the automaker would sell 20,000 units a year. "We put together a plan about four years ago and said look we believe we can do this many, and Mr. Song nearly fell off his chair and said that's impossible you couldn't do that many. But he started counting then he started believing," Meredith said at the time.

"We haven't had any definitive answer from Kia headquarters," Meredith said when asked for an update. "Every time I see him, he says: 'I understand what you said Damian, but let's just wait and see.'" Unfortunately, entering the pickup market doesn't appear to be a high priority for Kia right now. This perhaps isn't surprising as Kia is focusing on expanding its EV lineup with new models like the flagship EV9 previewed by a new concept at the LA Auto Show.

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It's a shame because Kia's proposed pickup had a lot of potential and would have been more capable than the Santa Cruz. Whereas the Santa Cruz pickup shares the same unibody platform as the Tucson, Kia's pickup was going to have a new ladder-frame chassis, but Kia seemingly can't justify the resources required. Kia's lack of enthusiasm suggests that we shouldn't get our hopes up for a Ford Ranger rival, but Kia could still potentially build a smaller truck similar to the Santa Cruz.

"I think if they had have done it and planned it, then it would have been here by now," Meredith said of the midsize tru. "Don't get depressed by that. We've got a lot of good stuff coming in regards to alternate fuels and we're really excited about what the future holds for the brand."

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Source Credits: Cars Guide

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