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Hyundai pick-up could land by 2020

In development: The Hyundai pick-up will be a separate development from production version of the SUV-based Santa Cruz concept (left).

Global Hyundai vice chairman said to be pushing Toyota HiLux rival ‘very seriously’

12 Oct 2017

HYUNDAI’S long-mooted Toyota HiLux rival could be in the market as soon as 2020, thanks to continuing strong support from Hyundai Motor Company vice chairman, Chung Eui-sun.

According to Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) chief executive officer, JW Lee, the so-called “heir apparent” and only son of Hyundai Motor Group global chairman, Chung Mong-koo, is very serious about seeing the project through to production fruition.

“Our vice chairman has said recently, (and has) mentioned several times, about this type of pick-up truck, (and has stated this) very seriously,” he told GoAuto at the launch of the Kona small SUV in Canberra this week.

“We are yet to disclose the entire program, but as this time he is serious, it may be two to three years (away). In my view, a decision has been made, but more detail cannot be disclosed.”

Designed expressly for the South-East Asian, European and Australian markets where demand for one-tonne utilities is expected to keep booming, development is thought to be in the advanced stages at the company’s Namyang research and development centre in South Korea.

“We need to cater to markets not only like Australia, but also countries such as the South-East Asian markets,” Mr Lee said. “In my view, it is under good consideration for these markets.”

Crucially, the upcoming Hyundai pick-up will most likely incorporate a separate chassis construction for its dual role as a weekday workhorse and weekend warrior.

As a result, it is believed to be a separate development to the upcoming Santa Cruz, which will feature monocoque construction based on the existing Tucson mid-size SUV platform.

The latter, which surfaced in concept guise at the 2015 Detroit motor show, has already been nixed for Australia on account of it being a US-built left-hand-drive-only proposition. As we reported back in August, it is expected to be unveiled in production form sometime next year.

“We tried it as experiments and prototypes and pick-up truck (concepts) such as the Santa Cruz,” Mr Lee revealed. “But from our understanding, (Mr Chung Eui-sun) is really very serious about (a HiLux-style) pick-up truck.” “The Santa Cruz concept is too small, as that is based on the (Tucson) TL.”

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