In April 2018, a Kia Motors executive from Australia confirmed that the Korean automaker had plans to eventually launch a one-tonne bakkie to rival the likes of the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger. But there’s apparently one big obstacle standing in the brand’s way: production capacity.
Speaking to GoAuto.com, Damien Meredith, the head of Kia Motors Australia, said that the "struggle at the moment is where to produce it".
“A lot of senior management from Korea were surprised how big the actual market is in Australia. They were probably taken aback a little by our confidence in the volume that we could do,” he said.
Meredith revealed that he had been “very vocal” with the brand’s head office, adding that “they are well aware of the market opportunity, not just here but in other markets” too.
“I think at this stage it is still to be confirmed. The struggle at the moment is where to produce it,” Meredith said.
Roland Rivero, Kia Motors Australia’s general manager for product planning, explained that there were not many Kia factories with the capacity to build large volumes of the proposed new bakkie.
“Every plant at the moment is at pretty much maximum capacity. Where to find another plant that is going to find you another 50 000 to 100 000 cars is a challenge,” Rivero told GoAuto.com.
“I have been watching pick-ups for over ten years now and it doesn't matter what conditions come, whether it be a global financial crisis, be a drought, they just keep churning them out. It hasn't shown any signs of slowing down yet and I don't see them slowing down.”
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.