Following up on the Hyundai pickup truck story from early this week and a second report Tuesday by Reuters, we have new information from a source inside Hyundai Motors Corp.
Hyundai and Chrysler have held discussions about Hyundai building a pickup off the Ram platform, but those plans were shelved recently after both parties couldn't agree on production volumes that were being negotiated as part of a manufacturing contract between the two automakers, the source told us.
Hyundai Motors Company subsidiary Hyundai Motor America provided the following statement about its rumored pickup truck development to PickupTrucks.com this morning:
"Hyundai Motor Co. denies that there are any current plans to bring a pickup truck of any type into the U.S. now or in the foreseeable future. Hyundai is not in discussion with Chrysler in regard to a selling a rebadged Chrysler Corp. pickup truck, or any other vehicle, in the U.S."
Our source said that Hyundai's research into pickup trucks was motivated by a possible new strategic direction in North America. A pickup truck would be a bridge product between Hyundai's consumer-focused car and crossover business and the company entering the commercial truck market in the U.S. later in the decade, which could broaden Hyundai's product portfolio with passenger and light commercial work vans and other commercial truck platforms.
If Hyundai were to enter the U.S. commercial vehicle market, it would mirror Nissan's recent solo moves to offer new products in the slow-changing segment.
Hyundai, however, could still partner with Chrysler in the future on other work vehicles besides pickups, as it does today supplying the Ram H-100 Wagon in Mexico (in the picture at the top of this post).