Thanks to a report out of Australia from CarAdvice, we now know Hyundai is working on a body-on-frame truck. Despite the news, don’t expect to see any head-to-head comparisons between a Hyundai and a domestic pickup truck here in the U.S. anytime soon, if ever.
There’s no question the U.S. market loves pickups, but its love affair is very different than global markets. In most areas of the world, small and midsize pickups reign supreme as the workhorses of their respective economy. Hyundai knows this and wants in on the global sales volume of these pickups, specifically in Australia, Southeast Asia and South America.
“The official word is that ute is developing now, but in the HMC world, six months or next year is a long way out. It’s not this side of 2020,” Hyundai Australia COO Scott Grant told CarAdvice.
So basically Hyundai is working on a midsize pickup that will arrive sometime after 2020. It will compete with the likes of the Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Hilux. When pressed about the odds of it coming to the U.S., Grant pushed back completely, all but completely shutting down the idea of a body-on-frame truck in the U.S.
Instead, the U.S. market is still slated to get a production version of the Santa Cruz concept truck. The Santa Cruz is slated to share its platform with the Hyundai Tuscan, meaning it will be a unibody pickup similar to the Honda Ridgeline. The latest word on the Santa Cruz is that it will launch sometime in 2018, possibly as a 2019 model.
Between the Santa Cruz and this alleged global pickup, it appears Hyundai is going from zero to 60 when it comes to pickup trucks.