The prospect of a pickup truck with the Hyundai badge has been bubbling up for nearly five years now. It’s almost a never-ending stream of rumors and speculation, which now includes the concept of Hyundai having two pickup truck models; one for North America and one for the rest of the world.
In a recent interview with Australia’s WhichCar, Hyundai Australia CEO John Kett said a Hyundai pickup would need to satisfy the utilitarian needs of ute buyers down under. “What’s clear to us,” Kett said, “is that if we’re going to bring a ute out, it had better be a ute.” And that, according to the report, means “a full range of one-ton ute-based commercial vehicles” that are “based on a ladder-frame chassis.”
The report also states that Kia has bought into the development of said ladder-frame chassis, meaning Hyundai-Kia could ultimately offer a full-range of pickup truck derivatives in international markets, such as Australia.
It’s important to note this pickup truck talk coming out of Australia appears to be entirely separate from the five-years worth of chatter about the topic that’s come out of the U.S. All accounts suggest Hyundai is developing a unibody based pickup truck for the North American market that could debut as early as next year.
Earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show Hyundai vice president of product Mike O’Brien told CarBuzz a body-on-frame pickup was not necessary for the U.S. market, making a strong implication any body-on-frame pickup developed by the company will stay offshore. O’Brien’s comments accumulated to the speculation Hyundai’s U.S. pickup will be based on the Tuscan crossover.
The Tuscan based pickup should debut next year for sale in 2021, but the body-on-frame international pickup is still several years out. WhichCar says it could be 2023 when the pickup line first hits the market.