Future Models - Hyundai 2018 Utility
Wait continues for Hyundai's pick-up
Ruled out: Hyundai's Renault Master-rivaling H350 is no closer to coming to Australia given its left-hand-drive only configuration.
Hyundai still evaluating how to bring a pick-up to the Australian market
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8 March 2016
HYUNDAI Motor Company Australia (HMCA) is still hopeful it can add a pick-up to
its growing line-up, but what form it will take is still unknown.
The South Korean car-maker has previously acknowledged that the lack of a
one-tonne pick-up is the biggest gap in its line-up, with its competitors
including Toyota, Holden, Ford and Mazda all attracting strong sales for their
Speaking with GoAuto at the recent Elantra launch in Tasmania, HMCA senior
product planning manager Andrew Tuitahi said the company was still
investigating how to bring a pick-up to market Down Under.
“We want one, absolutely” he said. “We talk about it every three-to-six months.
It is still under study. We are still looking at how best to utilise it.”
Mr Tuitahi said one of the challenges Hyundai Motor Company in Korea had was
how best to satisfy the needs of a number of global markets, given the
different requirements and uses for such a vehicle.
“The biggest struggle Hyundai has as a global company is which ute do you
build? Do you satisfy guys like Australia, South America, Africa with a
one-tonne HiLux style, or do you satisfy North American with an F-Series truck
“When you look at the global markets, the volumes are somewhat similar. Maybe
the one-tonne being slightly higher, but you have got much higher variations.
We are a dual-cab 4x4 market, whereas others are single-cab, extra cab, 4x2,
South-East Asia is 4x2 and extra cabs. It’s a hard one.
“The volumes are relatively big but… compared to an Elantra, the variations and
development work are quite high.”
To date, the closest thing to a pick-up Hyundai has revealed was the Santa Cruz
concept that debuted at last year's Detroit motor show.
The Santa Cruz is based on the Tucson mid-size SUV and carries similar
dimensions but is a more coupe-styled pick-up for urban adventurers as opposed
to a rugged one-tonne ute favoured by Australian buyers.
The light-commercial utility segment last year made up 15.1 per cent of all
new-vehicle sales in Australia, with 174,660 (40,657 4x2 and 134,003 4x4) units
Mr Tuitahi said while the Santa Cruz is yet to officially confirmed for
production – despite Hyundai USA CEO Dave Zuchowski saying an announcement on
its future was imminent at January's Detroit motor show – HMCA is looking at
whether it could work in Australia.
“We have been looking at it,” he said. It is surprisingly practical, but again
it’s a market that doesn’t really exist right now, it harks back to the Subaru
“We will look at it. At the moment it is an American concept and they are
leading that project, but if it comes to fruition we will look at it and see
what it looks like here.”
One commercial vehicle that definitely will not be heading Down Under any time
soon is the H350 large van, revealed in late-2014.
The Renault Master, Fiat Ducato and Ford Transit Heavy rival is built in
left-hand-drive configuration only at the moment and, according to Mr Tuitahi,
was “primarily designed for Europe”.
“We have looked at it, we have run the numbers, we have had some feedback
passed through to head office to let them know what the business case is here.
From our point of view there would be some changes that we would need to make
in terms of powertrains and transmissions to maximise that opportunity.”
If production shifted to right-hand drive and the H350 was offered in
Australia, it would sit above the perennially popular iLoad light van, which
recently received a subtle make-over and gained new safety and connectivity