Hyundai‘s U.S. CEO John Krafcik has said that “because the brand resonates with families,” and feels “this is a segment where we have the lowest market penetration,” company product planning, at least in the short term, is focused on crossovers, especially seven-seater CUVs which seem to be the hottest thing going right now.
As a result, the possibility of a Hyundai van or pickup isn’t something that’s likely in the cards. That said, given that Hyundai and sister company Kia are attempting to differentiate their lineups to avoid stealing sales from each other, there’s a better chance of the latter introducing a truck, as Kia attempts to become a bit more of a “niche” brand with sportier and slightly more off-beat product offerings. Kia isn’t entirely a stranger to trucks, having unveiled a mid-size concept back in 2004 called the KC-4 Mojave (shown above).
However, due to shrinking demand for smaller trucks and fluctuating gas prices, the Mojave was left stillborn. Nonetheless, with the recently unveiled utility themed Soulster concept creating a buzz and Kia more firmly established as a legitimate player in the U.S. volume vehicle segment, could the idea of a pickup be floated again?
With the retirement of the Ford Ranger and fuel prices creeping upwards, the idea perhaps makes more sense now than it did in 2004, especially as today, Kia also has far more resources and engineering expertise at its disposal.
[Source: Pickup trucks.com]