After years of uncertainty, a Hyundai pickup truck looks to be headed for production with a Kia version likely to follow.
With a massive surge of popularity in the mid-size pickup segment, more automakers are trying to compete, and Hyundai wants a shot at capturing some shares of its own in the booming category. While production of the pickup, reportedly based on the Santa Cruz concept it revealed three years ago, still seemed to be in limbo as recently as October 2018, Hyundai’s chief design officer has confirmed that it’s a go.
"You've seen the [Santa Cruz] pickup from the 2015 Detroit show, that car is under development at Hyundai," Luc Donckerwolke, Hyundai Group's chief design officer said in a recent interview with British magazine Autocar.
He also offered that they’ve reached the part of the process where sketches and clay models are being turned into metal, but the public is going to have to wait to see how much the production model has changed from the original Santa Cruz concept. Manufacturing of the Hyundai pickup is starting “as soon as possible” but it will still take some time before it hits dealer lots.
Donckerwolke also shared that there could be a Kia model to follow that would share the same basic platform with design tweaks differentiating the two. If a Kia pickup is given the green light, it would arrive later than the Hyundai truck. When we reached out for details about the Kia truck, no further information could be confirmed.
As of right now, the import mid-size truck market essentially consists of the Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline, but by the time the Hyundai pickup arrives, it could also be fending off an offering from Volkswagen which is yet to be confirmed. The Hyundai truck will also have to fight fierce domestic players in the niche such as the Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado.
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