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.



This is not news. It's speculation. Call me when the Chicken tax is gone, and hasn't been replaced with nine other new taxes.

@sandman4x4: " If every driveway had an American brand vehicle in it, we would NOT be in the mess we are in."

Way to boil down complex global economics into a platitude. This is absolutely untrue. We live in a global economy, and it's becoming more global, not less. American companies invest overseas, and foreign companies invest in America. Products are made all over the world, often in multiple places and then assembled in an entirely different location. Money flows freely from continent to continent, entering and exiting markets at breakneck speeds.

There are thousands of reasons why we're in this "mess" -- and it's actually not much of a mess at all, really, if you'd look at the data comparing the US to other OECD nations -- and not one of them has to do with Americans buying automobiles with nameplates sporting foreign-sounding names. If anything, the American consumer's behavior is a symptom of globalization, not the cause of the downfall of American manufacturing.

It was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, and began operation on April 1, 1967. It is governed by the United States Secretary of Transportation.

The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations is a working party (WP.29)[1] of the Inland Transport Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). It is tasked with creating a uniform system of regulations, called UN Regulations, for vehicle design to facilitate international trade.

WP.29 was established on June 1952 as "Working party of experts on technical requirement of vehicles"; the current name was adopted in 2000.

I'm sorry for 'intruding' when DenverMike questioned you.

I've been debating this for well over 12 months now and have researched this topic considerably.

I do apologise again.

But when a person completely ignores information and data presented it can become frustrating.

He obviously has little knowledge of the world outside of his community he lives in.

I will try and not respond to him in the future, that will reduce the bickering on the site.

@BAFO - How many times have I presented you the facts, data and links that prove my point, without a doubt, and asked you "to show me where I am wrong, if I'm wrong"...

You claim I'm wrong, throw a temper tantrum, hurl some insults, call me Greg 'Something', say "Apollo 13:) is watching" and scamper of to TTAC or gawd knows where to repeat your erroneous propaganda to whoever will listen and or believe you.

@DenverMike - Please:
1. Show me how companies avoid or minimize the "chicken tax" on current pickups?
2. List the loopholes present in the "chicken tax" that are currently exploited?
3. List how those loopholes can be exploited?
4. List current pickup trucks that use loopholes to circumvent the "chicken tax"?
5. Show me the documented evidence (literature, links, etc..) that show that the "Chicken tax" is "100% irrelevant"?

One last point - where is your evidence indicating that "only cheapskates" buy small trucks? Please refrain from anecdotal evidence as I can provide counter evidence based on my personal experience.

Ford and Chrysler have chosen not to bother with small trucks since they can make much more money with full sized trucks. The incentive is not there for them to try because of the profitable full sized trucks and the fact that most prefer a full sized truck.
It is a circular argument. Small trucks are uncompetitive versus larger trucks partially because they are underpowered, outdated, and lack fuel efficiency. That reduces sales and company profits therefore companies lack the incentive to invest. That lack of investment makes small trucks more uncompetitive. That shifts more buyers to full sized trucks.
If companies could import a compact truck from a manufacturing facility with lower operating costs, they could offer a competitive product and make a decent profit. If they were to do that, that would hurt full sized truck sales therefore cut into profits.

Building small trucks domestically is a loose/loose situation for Ford or Ram since the build costs would be on par with a full sizer. A company has to be willing to spread profits over a larger product mix if small trucks are domestically built. We all know how that strategy has worked for GMC in the past.
Ford was planning on bringing in the global Ranger from Thailand but the FTA fell apart.

You have never presented data in the past. When debating you the argument tended to drift as you continually ask slightly different questions purposely orchestrated to keep someone "wound up" and yet never answer a question presented to you. (trolling?)

When you offer to sate a person request, you make an outrageous comment, ie DOT was form prior to UNECE. Something you have no knowledge of eg, DOT 1967, UNECE 1952.

That's why I have the "keep on debate" comment to you.

Lou has given you an opportune moment here to "shine" and prove Lou and myself wrong.

With your insistence that you have presented past data it shouldn't be hard to produce the 'list' of information requested to support your claims by Lou.

Lets see it. I've been waiting over 12 months for this.

More on the Hyundai Pickup

"But Lee said Hyundai was in no hurry to produce a ute and gave no clues as to the form it would take, or in which market it would be sold first.

“We are doing a good job in recent years without a pick-up truck,” Lee told Automotive News.

“A pick-up truck is important, but it's not a BIG PRIORITY for our company. But we have to consider how to respond. It is under study"

I would consider one....We have a Hyundai Sonata and I have to say, powertrain wise and, well, the whole car, has been in the shop less over the 5 years we have owned it versus the 2011 Jeep Wrangler I have. Been in the shop for a total of ~ 30 days in two years. Our car has been a great ride, and for that reason I would consider another Hyundai product.

For the patriots on here: Our sedan was built some place in South Korea named Montgomery, Alabama. Couldn't imagine how a name like that flies over for those Koreans but what the hey, their problem not mine :) Sure would be better if it was built in America. The Delphi electronics and American Alxe components....hell, don't know where those companies are from. Probably in South Korea as well. I guess I made an exception to buying American made when I bought my Hyundai from Montgomery, Alabama Province, South Korea.


Walt said: "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."

Agree whole heartedly! I continue to use my old half ton F150 for this very reason. The bedsides are placed perfectly, the tailgate works at the height for a table, bench, hop up into, etc. These new crop of trucks....just too big. The cabins are perfect, but the box sides and tailgate height, plus the front ends are just too big...for no apparent reason other than to make people driving them feel big.


@Jeep--I agree with you. I have spent money fixing up my 99 S-10 and plan to keep it for many more years just because it is easier for me to reach in the bed. I could go out and buy another truck but the S-10 does everything I want it to do and it looks and runs like new. The full size is too big for me regardless if it is priced the same. I would be interested in a right sized pickup from Hyundai.

That sounds interesting...isn't Hyundai and Kia made by the same company? So then both of them will have trucks?

Please bring small truck that is affordable like a car/truck I emailed toyota on this and hope they built one we are woried about shortage of gas and this is about time to built a multi function car that is less expensive than a crossover/truck/suv

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