Published on April 2nd, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Hyundai To Build A Pickup Truck
Hyundai Motor Co. is looking into launching a pickup in the United States and then the rest of the world in coming months, Hyundai’s sales boss revealed in an interview with a leading business news publication. Product planners and engineers at headquarters in South Korea are studying what size truck would be best for the market.
Hyundai has transformed its reputation from that of a purveyor of cheap, low-quality compacts into a global powerhouse known for quality products and smart design. The shift helped the brand successfully branch into new segments such as crossovers. But Hyundai has no pickups. Attempts to penetrate the United States, especially with a Korea-built import, could get a boost from the U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement that took effect in March 2012. The accord stipulates that the U.S. tariff of 25 percent on imported light-duty trucks and vans will remain in place for seven years, then be phased out by 2021.
Hyundai can likely afford to wait. Rumors of a Hyundai pickup have been on-again, off-again. But the brand has remained focused on its bread-and-butter portfolio of cross-overs, sedans, SUVs and coupes. In the late 2000’s, Hyundai and Kia were considering a unibody, front-wheel-drive mid-sized pickup. But the talks were derailed by rising oil prices and a declining truck market. This could be a truck to challenge the traditional players.