Hyundai to Consider Small Pickup, Finally

Hyundai Rear II

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.



It would go over about as well as the Tundra has... Or hasn't...

@Toycrusher: You might be surprised. At one time you used to see a LOT of comparatively tiny trucks across this country and the only reason we don't now is that they were all driven off by the big truck makers.

Bunch of BS from this website, we get great news about GM and the article gets replaced by this crap. Not even a real truck punch of BULL!!!

GM's article was up a few hours what a punch of BULL!!!

GM? Who cares about their boring crap.

Any mid-size truck would be a welcome addition to the market. We need smaller, practical, energy efficient trucks. It sounds to me like this is a long way off though, possibly 2021 or later.

I can see Hyundai/Kia really hurting Chevrolet in the American market. Ford and Dodge? Not so much.

@Ronald a Man's Truck is not entertainment you Toyota Lover or what ever you call yourself.

@Ken Anyone not buying from an American Brand is hurting the American Economy period!!!

This has been in the "rumor mill" for years. They already offer light duty cargo/passenger vehciles around the world so the platforms are there, they just need to see if the US market would buy enough of them to make it worth the cost of devlopment and offset the impact to their current "most fuel efficient car company in America" status.

It would be a hrad pill to swallow unless that are likely 9 zeros attached to the result. I bet they have been watching Toyota and Nissan very carefully. If we want to see this move from rumor to result pray Toyota and Nissan do very well against the Detroit 3.

AllAmerican your dead wrong and you don't understand economics. I bet you shop at Wal Mart and have some kind of TV or electronics from an non American name plate.

@Mick Im dead wrong on what? Imports do not compete among GM, Ford or Ram, the top three have made themselves who they are by good old American Competition and screw you and Wal-Mart!!!

Here is an interesting cut and paste from Blue Oval forums in relation to the Chicken Tax:

"It's not being repealed. It's just being exempted (on a 7-year time table) on trucks imported from Korea as part of the US-Korea free trade agreement.
There has been a multi-front effort by Ford and GM to repeal chicken tax when it suits them and stop the tax when it doesn't suit them. The 7-year phase out was a compromise because Ford and GM won't stand to benefit from the repeal. GM could potentially benefit if it moved truck production to Korea but it's probably not going to so that.
GM pushed for chicken tax elimination as part of the US-Australia free trade agreement with no phase out period. GM was on track to import the Holden Ute as Pontiac G8 ST before Pontiac was axed.
Ford was a big proponent of US-Thailand free trade agreement that would have eliminated chicken tax, also without phase out period. But the Thai Govt didn't completed the negotiation (the military coup put an end to the discussion and it never restarted). I have speculated before that this is the true reason why Ford couldn't sell the T6 Ranger in the US... it had planned to import the truck from Thailand but Ford didn't count on the military coup to happen. The timing was too perfect to be a mere coincidence... They announced closing of Twin Cities Ranger assembly plant almost 4 years ahead of time while assuming the free trade agreement would be ratified."

The phase out of the Chicken Tax with the free trade agreement with Thailand was what Ford was waiting for so they could import the global Ranger.
GMC wanted the chicken tax removed so they could import the Holden Ute.
That seems to prove that Big Al's point about the Chicken tax was correct and DenverMike's assumptions were incorrect.

All American, I'm not just talking about full size trucks. You better believe Toyota, Honda, and Nissan all compete with Ford GM and Chrysler. And to say that buying a Foriegn nameplate hurts the economy is just plain stupid. My uncle works at the Toyota plant in TX and you better believe that Toyota puts food on his families Table and puts thier kids through school, not to mention Toyota has put millions of dollars into the local economy and this is true of any manufacturer in the U.S. weather its Ford or Toyota.

@AllAmerican - A HD built in Mexico for Fiat with a USA badge on the fender is somehow better for the USA economy than a 1/2 ton built in Texas for the USA market by Toyota?

@Mick Here's something in economics for you the more profit that stays in American soil the more wealth is created for investments. The only reason Toyota built a plant in Texas is they can say it's American when its not!!! Saying your uncle feeds and educates his family becuase of Toyota is plain stupid it's his hardwork and talent that does!!!

I wouldn't mind seeing a small pickup like the H100 available. A simple, small, flat bed truck that can fit 4' wide material, and available quad cab and 4wd.

@Lou Yeah but the profits stay here in the US which benefits all of us.

All American, so you would rather buy a truck built by unamerican workers in Mexico or Canada then one built by real Americans? Your logic doesn't make sense Toyota reinvests money/profits in America and abroad. How do you think GM has built its new mega plants over in Chinia? You don't think its with money/profits made here in the U.S.?

@Mick I make no sense lol an man's race has nothing to do with it. This website is about Trucks and competition I bet theres more men with the same or better talent than your uncle in Mexico. Most of the world and it's leaders hate America, it's time for Americans to look out for America!!!

All American,

I am all about buying American, thats why I buy things made in the United States. I just think its silly you go by the brand name rather then where the thing is actually made and by who. Don't get me wrong, I know the Ford F-150 is the most American made truck out thier but the Tundra is second when it comes to percentage of parts made and assembled in the U.S. I work for a trucking company that hauls large excavators and other heavy machinery for Deere and CAT. I never knew how much of their stuff is made and assembled in China and shiped to the ports here. That bothers me more then anything.

@Mick Well Im glad that we agree on buying American, I guess what really bothers me is all the Brain Washing that has occured to society in General. It sounds like your a Profesdional like me, I might not be the smartest but I do know Im American and have my values that go far. I wouldn't be able to say that Tundra is more American all I know is that the truth must be told!!!

I won't hold my breath on this, but a smaller (I'm assuming) lifestyle pickup from Hyundai would be a welcome addition to the moribund compact/midsize market. Greater competition is better for all of us. And please get rid of that stupid chicken tax once and for all.

@Everyone The media including this website is not bias, remember an American Dollar goes far specially in other parts of the world. That's why there's such an interest to get our hard earn money, all Im saying is keep American Money in America.

Fantastic, about time.

I would think using the Sorento platform would be ideal as the vehicle looks like its unitary constructed.

Also, the Sorento platform can offer AWD which would suit driving in icy and slippery conditions.

This vehicle would also be a good hedge against CAFE and the global market as well.

As for engines Hyundai/Kia have a range of 4cyl, V6s and a great 2.2 diesel to offer.

Great, I would love to see the Koreans create more competition.

You want the US to succeed?

Well for you to export to others, you have to accept imports.

Fencing the US in will kill the economy.

The US's best chance to succeed is to export more than it imports. At the moment it isn't doing it.

Also, large quantities of your vehicles that you think are American are actually imported components, even from China like the Getrag MT86 6 speed gearbox in the Boss Mustang.

Sorry the gearbox is a MT82.

If Hyundai would take the Honda Ridgeline and just update it with a new Hyundai interior and powerplant I think that it would sell fairly well (only mid size truck that has a functional crew cab and can fit 4x8 sheets flat). If Hyundai went on and improve the exterior as well, maybe added an extra foot to the bed, improved the turning radius and perhaps bumped its ground clearance I think that it would sell quite well.

A few modernization features to a Ridgeline like truck could have it towing more than Frontiers/Tacomas, it can already haul more than them, and it could be significantly more comfortable than the Frontier/Tacoma.

Since none of the mid sized trucks have been updated in forever that is a market that an upstart may be able to gain some traction in.

Also I am guessing that the new Colorado will end up being a half-assed attempt as so much of GM seems to have been in recent years. Really hope that I am wrong because right now the Colorado is the only mid size that will be updated and on the market anytime in the near future.

I don't want to take away your patriotism, but please understand what you are saying. Especially with economics etc.

The American dollar has depreciated significantly over the past 4 years. All you have to do is Google this stuff. You will be surprised.

Quantitative easing and the reduction in interest rates have affect the value of your currency, along with a reduction in your country's credit rating.

This depreciation is most evident against developing and commodity economies.

5 years ago an Australian dollar bought 75c US, now we can buy $1.05 US. The Canadian dollar is similar, to the point last year the average Canadian earns more than his US counterpart.

If Honda can avoid paying a Chicken tax on Ridgeline and Subaru, the Baja, it's interesting that Hyundai can not? It's just a stall tactic for a truck that will never happen. If Honda and Subaru could not build a successful pickup truck, Hyundai knows what to do. Nothing. It's not the Chicken tax. It's not CAFE. It's marketing directors doing what they do best.

I have been shopping for a new pickup but a few days ago I was using my '84 Nissan B2000 to clean up debris from a tree I had cut down. Do you know how much more work it would have been if I had been using one of the new big 3 trucks with side rails that come up to my shoulders? That little truck won't haul or tow like my F250 but it gets used around the farm a lot because it is so darn convenient. A lot of farmers have as much invested in a Kawasaki Mule as Kia would charge for that truck and the truck could be used for quick runs to the co-op or Tractor Supply without have to switch vehicles.

To All-American-My Nisan was made in the U.S. and most Kia's are made in the U.S. now and they are still expanding their American presence. I bought an American made Optima recently and it is a darn good vehicle for what it is intended to do and what it cost.

@DenverMike -
The Honda Ridgeline is built on Honda's assembly line in Lincoln, Alabama.

The Subaru Baja was built at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. factory in Lafayette, Indiana.

That means made in the USA therefore no chicken tax.

Why don't you ask the question, "How does Fiat get around paying the Chicken Tax on Rams built in Mexico?"

The Ridgeline has always been too unorthodox. My wife and I looked at one several years ago. It rode nice, was comfortable, and had decent power but the box shape was odd making any accessories very expensive. The C - pillar was too big as well.

@Lou--That makes sense. Ford could have planned on importing a Global Ranger and planned the plant closings of the former Ranger in time for the introduction of the new Ranger. Ford could now be waiting to see what happens with the Colorado especially if a diesel is offered as an option and they also might be waiting to see what the Koreans and the Chinese will do as well. We will see.

It is very easy for some to dismiss Hyundai and Kia just as Toyota, Nissan, and Honday were dismissed 40 years ago in the car and truck market and as the Japanese motorcyles were dismissed as well. The Koreans have proven themselves, and sure Hyundai is testing reaction before they commit but it is easy to dismiss the Koreans. I think it is about time to shake up the truck market and have more choice.

I think a compact Hyundai trucklet would sell well, especially if they put that GDI 4-banger from the Sonata under the hood and make the TGDI Turbo an option.

Add a decent six or eight-speed automatic and top it off with a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, and voila, we have a best seller that will get Toyota Tacoma's attention real fast.

I would not buy one for myself because I'm a full-size truck man myself, but there would be plenty of people who would buy a compact truck. Millions did when Ranger, S-10 and Dakota still roamed the earth.

I have heard something similar as to why Ford did not import the Global Ranger but GM on the other hand is going to import the Colorado.
On Hyundai /Kia I do not know. They have never really produced a Pickup. Very Light Trucks Vans and "Sold only in Korea" HDT trucks.
Presumably this new Heavy Truck with a 500hp Diesel will be sold outside Korea.

Here it is doing Winter Testing in Scandinavia.

Here is more information on the Hyundai/Kia pickup.

@Lou - I asked a rhetorical question, but Hyundai obviously has plenty of options available before having to paying 25%. Historically, no import truck has ever had to pay 25% and is only mentioned as an excuse for trucks that would not sell good in the US.

An interesting article from 2 years ago and a good picture of a 'potential' normal looking dual cab Hyundai pickup.

I don't know if the picture was generated at Hyundai.

We have had this discussion before.

The tax wasn't designed to rake in dollars. It was designed to stop importation of vehicles.

This means the tax had the intended effect if no light commercials were imported affected by the tax.

And don't start with the vehicle brought in that have seats etc.

How hard is it for you to comprehend something, or are you just trolling. I'm being quite serious here.

Research, then you will learn.

Please DenverMike, listen, everyone isn't wrong and there isn't a conspiracy.

The simple fact is the US including, UAW, government, manufacturers, etc don't want imported light commericals this is to protect Detroit from competition.

To primarily protect large US pickups. That is why foreign companies set up shop to manufacture pickups in the US because they aren't able to import them on a level playing field.

CAFE is an extension of this as well as your vehicle design regulations etc.

Face it, you vehicle industry is very protectionist. The US now wants FTAs, but countries are saying well look at how your vehicle industry and agri-industry is protected.

End of story. This has gone on for a year and you have yet to produce a document, link or anything other than your constantly questioning us to provide proof.

Provide proof for your claims.

Can you not respond with a question. We just want an answer.

You answer us now. We have no proof from you.

Remember no question this time, as you try and morph it into some irrelevant issue. AN ANSWER to prove us WRONG.

Here you go, the same questions you are asking now that you asked in this link.

Here is another link were you are asking the same questions, again.

Ask new questions, with proof to substantiate your beliefs.

Or, as I stated you are trolling, to try and make out I'm anti American or anti US pickup trucks.

Read them, as they will answer any questions you have on UNECE regs, US vehicle regs, Chicken Tax, etc.

I say they should build one! Nothing has replaced the small efficient pickups of years past and here's a golden opportunity for someone to reclaim the territory. Too many of the small trucks -- all of them -- have migrated into mid-sized territory of ceased production all together. There's a lot of people who still want a small truck, not 7/8 scale models. And think of all the fleet buyers who have been forced into econobox cars as affordable and efficient trucks have gone away.

We've had a Hyundai in our garage along w/ several American pickups, and the Hyundai has been flawless in reliability from day one. As have the other half dozen plus models my family has owned since the late 80's. With the experience we've had with their products, I wouldn't think twice about buying a truck from Hyundai.

In regards to mfg's having exhaust exit straight out the rear. It looks simple and clean IF you're just driving w/o towing. But like the RAM truck and this one pictured, if you tow a camper or something similiar, you don't wanna be blowing exhaust straight out the back.

@allamerican. Nieve much? Or are you just a share holder trolling? My $ goes to the worker first....

Now, finally, maybe a replacement for the Ford Ranger.

There is clearly a void in the marketplace for a sensible truck that is a good value. Toyota and Nissan used to fill this void but Toyota has pursued the rednecks and the trucks start at $35k now and still impractical for work. Nissan probably is going to be doing the same thing and its current offerings are iffy.

What we need is someone to bring back something akin to the T-100. But I wouldn't count on Hyundai doing this. They recognize where the money is, it's building big, noisy, redneck cars and trucks and the marketplace is already crowded. I think they'd have an easier time with cargo vans. They've already got full size vans in Mexico.

@BAFO - It's a current topic and I'm on topic. Actually, no one mentioned CAFE mostly because it does NOT protect domestic products because it affects domestic products JUST THE SAME AS IMPORTS. Take note of this and you won't keep mindlessly repeating such erroneous nonsense without thinking.

Calling the Chicken tax "protectionist" is ignorant to the fact that there's various LOOPHOLES that make it totally, 100% irrelevant. To bring it up is trolling for headlines or site clicks. I didn't bring it up and never have... EVER!

The Chicken tax costs OEMs less than $1,000 per vehicles while the 2.5% tariff on import cars also costs OEMs less than $1,000, AND has absolutely never stopped any car from coming to America. The EXACT same is true of the Chicken tax *BUT* no one ever brings up the 2.5% tariff on cars for some reason. You have to ask yourself why that is if you're not trolling. Or not an OEM marketing mouth piece.

No car, trucks, textile, tractor or commercial medium duty vehicle has ever been slowed down by any tariff, if-- and that's a very important "IF"-- it has a viable market and realistic customer base. If said product lacks any real potential in the US, the excuses start flying out of marketing director's mouths faster than???

No one ever mentions Europe's 22% tariff on import trucks that has absolutely no loopholes what_so _ever to make it irrelevant.

I have no questions about UNECE regs. They are as protectionist as any others except for the 22% tariff mentioned. Or the 10% on its import cars. The thing is, UNECE emissions and crash safely were inspired by the US EPA and DOT and obviously came afterwards, but set completely different standards to protect their domestic European vehicles from imports including US.

The EPA and DOT were inspired to protect US consumers and the US in general, from gross polluting, dangerous cars in a crash if not crash prevention at a time when Europe had no such regs.

Hopefully this new truck will be the size of the old Colorado/Ranger or maybe even smaller. Lots of people do not need a truck the size of the Newer Taco.

AllAmerican: I have been trying to tell them all the same thing you are, and they will never get it! the simple answer to them is this, If every driveway had an American brand vehicle in it, we would NOT be in the mess we are in, and those who say it is the trade inbalance, that is true, and it is not because we are not exporting as much as we are NOT buying American! we would not have to export as much, IF we did not have to import as much as we do now!, and it does not make any diff. to me where an American branded product is made, as a mater of fact, if made in Mexico, and that in turn give some Mexican a decent job in his home country, there would be no reason for him to come here, and with all the illegal problem that comes with that, and the best part is, the $$$$ stays here, in OUR Country! there would be no toyota plants here, if not for all the tax incentives givin to them, and the amount of PR they gain in "making their products here" and investing $$$ here, it is all just PR, and there are numbers of folks that believe it to prove it is so!

Oh, when I look at the rendering of the above "truck" what it reminds me of, is what a Mini Puck-Up would look like!

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