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Kia LCV range to hit in 2022

Commercial dealings: While a future Kia pick-up could be based on the Telluride SUV (below), it is unclear if a replacement for the Pregio van (left) would share underpinnings with sister brand Hyundai’s iLoad.

Full light-commercial range in Kia’s plans but pick-up not here until 2022

Kia logo17 Oct 2018

KIA’S long-mooted future pick-up has been pushed out to 2022 as the company’s Australian subsidiary awaits final sign-off on a full range of light-commercial vehicles.
 
As GoAuto has reported, the Korean car-maker’s rival for top-selling one-tonne utes such as the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger was previously set to surface in 2020 or 2021. 
 
However, the program now appears to have been pushed back at least a year.
 
Speaking with journalists at a media event in Melbourne, Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) general manager of media and corporate communications Kevin Hepworth said while Kia Motors in South Korea was yet to formally sign off, a new range of models was on the way.
 
“There is nothing signed off, but we are fairly confident there will be a commercial range by 2022,” he said.
 
Mr Hepworth said the plan was to introduce a full range of light-commercial vehicle offerings, including a ute, light trucks and possibly a van range.
 
“We would also like to get a full range of commercial vehicles so there will be light trucks and things like that,” he said. “A full range, whatever they make available to us.
 
“They have got to meet the criteria for Australian sale.”
 
He added that any one-tonne pick-up would have to be a true workhorse and more capable than some of the higher-end ute variants that have surfaced in the past year.
 
“The models we are looking at, obviously (include) the cab-chassis utes. But it has got to be something that has credentials as a work vehicle, not just a weekend plaything, it has got to be a real working car – a tool of trade,” he said.
 
Kia has history in the LCV market, having sold the HiAce-rivalling Pregio small commercial van in Australia between 2002 and 2006 and the K2700/K2900 light truck range from 2002 to 2012.
 
KMAu chief operating officer Damien Meredith has been agitating for a pick-up since he started in the role in 2014, and he has consistently said that offering a ute – as well as a small SUV – would help push Kia’s annual sales tally to 100,000 units.
 
Ten years ago in 2008, the 4x4 pick-up segment was the sixth biggest by volume behind large, light, small and medium passenger cars and compact SUVs.
 
Fast forward to 2018 and the September year-to-date tally of 129,178 units puts 4x4 pick-ups in third position behind medium SUVs and small cars.
 
The two top-selling models in Australia to the end of September are the Toyota HiLux and the Ford Ranger, while the Mitsubishi Triton, Holden Colorado, Isuzu D-Max and Nissan Navara regularly slip into the monthly top-10 best-selling models list.
 
As previously reported, the future Kia pick-up could share its ladder-frame underpinnings with the Telluride upper-large SUV that was recently revealed in the US.
 
It is also expected to share much of its mechanicals with a yet-to-be-revealed ute from sister brand Hyundai.
 
Both KMAu and Hyundai Motor Co Australia desperately want a genuine one-tonne utility rather than a lighter, lifestyle-oriented pick-up such as the forthcoming Hyundai Tucson-based Santa Cruz. 
 
Kia also produced a ‘Photo Safari’ ute concept along similar lines, based on its Sedona people-mover and shown at the 2015 SEMA show.
 
It is unclear at this stage whether Kia would share the van with the next-generation Hyundai iLoad or what shape the light truck would take.

KIA’S long-mooted future pick-up has been pushed out to 2022 as the company’s Australian subsidiary awaits final sign-off on a full range of light-commercial vehicles.

 

As GoAuto has reported, the Korean car-maker’s rival for top-selling one-tonne utes such as the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger was previously set to surface in 2020 or 2021.

 

However, the program now appears to have been pushed back at least a year.

 

Speaking with journalists at a media event in Melbourne last week, Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) general manager of media and corporate communications Kevin Hepworth said while Kia Motors in South Korea was yet to formally sign off, a new range of models was on the way.

 

“There is nothing signed off, but we are fairly confident there will be a commercial range by 2022,” he said.

 

Mr Hepworth said the plan was to introduce a full range of light-commercial vehicle offerings, including a ute, light trucks and possibly a van range.

 

“We would also like to get a full range of commercial vehicles so there will be light trucks and things like that,” he said. “A full range, whatever they make available to us.

 

“They have got to meet the criteria for Australian sale.”

He added that any one-tonne pick-up would have to be a true workhorse and more capable than some of the higher-end ute variants that have surfaced in the past year.

 

“The models we are looking at, obviously (include) the cab-chassis utes. But it has got to be something that has credentials as a work vehicle, not just a weekend plaything, it has got to be a real working car – a tool of trade,” he said.

 

Kia has history in the LCV market, having sold the HiAce-rivalling Pregio small commercial van in Australia between 2002 and 2006 and the K2700/K2900 light truck range from 2002 to 2012.

 

KMAu chief operating officer Damien Meredith has been agitating for a pick-up since he started in the role in 2014, and he has consistently said that offering a ute – as well as a small SUV – would help push Kia’s annual sales tally to 100,000 units.

 

Ten years ago in 2008, the 4x4 pick-up segment was the sixth biggest by volume behind large, light, small and medium passenger cars and compact SUVs.

 

Fast forward to 2018 and the September year-to-date tally of 129,178 units puts 4x4 pick-ups in third position behind medium SUVs and small cars.

 

The two top-selling models in Australia to the end of September are the Toyota HiLux and the Ford Ranger, while the Mitsubishi Triton, Holden Colorado, Isuzu D-Max and Nissan Navara regularly slip into the monthly top-10 best-selling models list.

 

As previously reported, the future Kia pick-up could share its ladder-frame underpinnings with the Telluride upper-large SUV that was recently revealed in the US.

 

It is also expected to share much of its mechanicals with a yet-to-be-revealed ute from sister brand Hyundai.

 

Both KMAu and Hyundai Motor Co Australia desperately want a genuine one-tonne utility rather than a lighter, lifestyle-oriented pick-up such as the forthcoming Hyundai Tucson-based Santa Cruz.

 

Kia also produced a ‘Photo Safari’ ute concept along similar lines, based on its Sedona people-mover and shown at the 2015 SEMA show.

 

It is unclear at this stage whether Kia would share the van with the next-generation Hyundai iLoad or what shape the light truck would take.


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