Seoul - South Korean sister brands Hyundai and Kia have become a force to be reckoned with on the global car market, collectively ranking in third place in terms of outright volume, but there is one profitable sphere where both are missing in action at the moment - the bakkie market.
While the Korean brands must surely be eyeing the US full-sized pick-up segment (and we know that Hyundai is definitely working on a more compact unibody bakkie), new reports out of Australia suggest that the pair are also working on traditional one-tonne bakkies to take on the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger.
Both Hyundai's and Kia’s Australian divisions have been lobbying for such a pick-up for years, and that appears to be paying off if we look at some of the conversations that Kia’s Australian boss Damien Meredith recently had with Australian journalists at a launch event for the Seltos in Korea.
Meredith told CarAdvice that there was definitely a “conversation” with head office over a one-tonne pickup. “It’s still a way off,” he added, “but we’re confident in the near future the group will have a light commercial range in Australia.”
He was also quoted by Motoring as stating that “work had begun” and that there were plans for a full range of derivatives: “We’re talking about a pick-up, dual-cab, single-cab. What we’ve requested is the full gambit of a ute, diesel and petrol.”