Trucks are big right now, both in physical size and sales numbers. For years, Hyundai has teased the idea of such a vehicle after debuting the Santa Cruze concept at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Hyundai is still working out the details, but it's not alone. Kia announced last month it's looking into offering a truck as well. A new report from CarsGuide says the two automakers could offer their trucks in a variety of body styles.
CarsGuide spoke with Kia Motors Australia COO Damien Meredith who told the publication Kia is looking into offering a variety of body styles just as Hyundai has done. Meredith mentions both dual- and single-cab designs along with both gasoline and diesel engines. Hyundai said similar offerings were under consideration but went further by suggesting cab-chassis and extra-cab plans, too.
Meredith also said that the company has minimums in place for towing capacity and other specifications, so whenever such a model arrives, it'll be competitive – at least in the Australian market. When pressed for comment last month when news broke Kia was allegedly working on a truck the company said that it wouldn't "comment on remarks made about the brand outside the U.S. market;" however, Kia added that it's studying the U.S. market for new opportunities. A truck could be one of those new possibilities.
If Kia and Hyundai are planning to jump into the pickup truck game, now would be a good time. The segment is quickly filling with new competitors with the Ford Ranger, returning after a hiatus, and the Jeep Gladiator joining staples such as the Chevrolet Colorado, Nissan Frontier, and Toyota Tacoma. A two-pronged attack on the truck market in the U.S. from Hyundai and Kia could keep competitors on their toes for years to come while giving consumers even more variety – something a handful of current offerings lack.