Illustration by Mark Stehrenberger
We can't accept all the credit, but we find it coincidental that just one week after we offered our interpretation of a possible Hyundai/Kia pickup truck, Automotive News is reporting that key players at Hyundai are saying they are "studying" the possibility of bringing a pickup to the U.S. "very hard."
Of particular interest is that the end of the "chicken tax" is in sight, as the long-standing U.S. tariff is set to be phased out in less than eight years. That would mean that trucks produced overseas and imported to the U.S. would not be subject to the additional 25 percent tax. That could open up the market to some unique, smaller and much less expensive pickup trucks from around the world — as long as they can meet federal crash and emissions standards.
Lee In-cheol, Hyundai's vice president of international sales, was caught at the automaker's Korean training center noting that a pickup is one of the few products it doesn't have and that it could be important to offer customers one in the future.
Whether this new product will be a full-size pickup or some kind of smaller crossover/hybrid/mini-truck remains to be seen, but we have no doubt we'll be seeing a concept vehicle at an upcoming auto show. And it might even look like the one we suggested last week.