Hyundai’s Australian boss has reportedly confirmed that the company is developing a bakkie to rival the Toyota Hilux, but don't expect to see it any time soon.
Hyundai Australia COO Scott Grant recently told Australian website CarAdvice that a pick-up is currently under development, but that it won’t see light of day “this side of 2020”.
Although he would not confirm exactly what form or configuration it would take, Grant did tell the publication that Australia and other key pick-up markets had asked Hyundai to develop a proper Hilux rival and it appears as if the decision makers in South Korea have listened.
Yet the carmaker is also known to be working on a Tuscon-based unibody pick-up inspired by the Santa Cruz concept of 2015 and which would be primarily aimed at the North American market. So does that mean Hyundai is actually planning two bakkies – the Santa Cruz to fill a modern new niche and a more traditional one-tonner to serve international markets?
Either way, it certainly wouldn’t make sense to ignore the Hilux-Ranger market for any longer.
Things could get a little crowded on that turf in the coming years, however, with Renault entering the fray with its Alaskan and Mercedes polishing the upper end of the segment with its forthcoming X-Class, while Peugeot is also said to be working on a one-tonner of its own, possibly even based on the Toyota Hilux.
Either way, when Hyundai’s one-tonner does see light of day, there is very little doubt, given the size of our bakkie market, that it would eventually reach our shores.