Kia Australia’s chief operating officer confirms the new entry
Ever since theHyundaiSanta Cruz concept pickup debuted, we’ve wondered whetherKiawill also enter the segment. With development of the Hyundai well underway, it was only a matter of time until the Korean automaker spilled the beans. Now, it finally has. Kia Australia’s Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith has confirmed toCarsGuidethatKia will have its own pickup. Additionally, Meredith revealed that work is already underway and the truck could arrive between 2022-2023, around the same time frame as the production Hyundai Santa Cruz.
“Work has begun,” Meredith toldCarsGuide.“We’re talking about a dual cab, a single cab-what we’ve requested is the full gambit for the ute, and that (includes) a dual cab with diesel and petrol (options).” Kia’s Australian executives are confident that the truck would do well in their market. Meredith thinks Kia can take 8-10 percent market share there.
Although he didn’t reveal much else, we’re suspecting that shouldKia’s pickupcome to the U.S. market, it’ll likely offer only gas engines. These powertrains will be shared with the Hyundai Santa Cruz; however when it comes to engine, transmission, and chassis calibration, the Kia will likely differ just to distinguish itself from its Hyundai cousin. Hyundai-Kia’s new family ofSmartstream powertrainscould find its way into both pickups.
Since it will share underpinnings with theHyundai Santa Cruz, the Kia pickup will be closer to a compact in size. AlthoughCarsGuidestates it will be competing with midsize trucks, we think Kia’s pickup will be a segment smaller considering the unibody Santa Cruz will share its underpinnings with the next generation Tucson, a compact crossover. Think moreSubaruBaja and first generationFord Rangerinstead ofHonda RidgelineandChevrolet Colorado.