A Kia Motors executive in Australia has confirmed that the Korean automaker is planning to launch a one-tonne bakkie to rival the likes of the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger.
Damien Meredith, chief operating officer at Kia Motors Australia, told motoring.com.au that the Kia-badged light commercial vehicle was scheduled to hit the market in either 2021 or the following year, after the brand adds a new small SUV to its range.
“The small SUV hits in late 2019 and will have full impact in 2020. Then hopefully will make life pretty good for the Kia dealer network,” Meredith told the Australian publication, adding that the “next big step” for the brand’s dealers Down Under would be the bakkie.
The report added that the proposed Kia pick-up would likely be based on sister brand Hyundai’s upcoming bakkie, which itself is expected to arrive in 2021. However, Kevin Hepworth, general manager for media and corporate communications at Kia Motors Australia, said that this wasn’t set in stone.
“It may not be the same vehicle. It might not necessarily be a badge-engineered vehicle. It could be something else. We haven’t had any official word. If and when it does come it will be 2021-22. It would be fantastic, but it’s not guaranteed,” Hepworth revealed.
He went on to add that the proposed bakkie would not be based on the Hyundai Santa Cruz unibody double-cab being lined up for the North American market, stressing that “we’d only be interested in a full ladder-frame with full capability”.
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