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Hyundai appears to be examining an entry into the full-sized pickup truck market – something which seems to defy the Korean automaker’s recent fuel economy push. According to a report by PickupTrucks.com, Hyundai has been showing a Dodge Ram 1500 to focus groups – rebaged and restyled as a Hyundai.
Some have suggested that using a Ram 1500 as a basis could signify a tie-up between Chrysler and Hyundai, although that is highly unlikely. Chrysler did recently cut plans to share a truck platform with Nissan and the reason behind that is the same reason that will keep Chrysler from working with the Koreans, namely, that Fiat isn’t interested in sharing too much with anyone. Besides, Hyundai isn’t likely to get back into bed with Chrysler any time soon, after the American automaker axed the joint-venture Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) last year – another sign that Fiat isn’t interested in working with anyone else.
It’s likely that Hyundai is just planning for the future and keeping its options open. A Hyundai Motor American spokesman told Pickuptrucks.com that trucks were not a priority, but according to their sources this market-test is being handled by Hyundai in Korea – possibly without the knowledge of HMA.
Interestingly, Hyundai axed plans in 2008 to build a midsize pickup for the U.S. market – under the Kia brand.