Rumor has it Hyundai plans to enter the lucrative small pick-up truck market. Its understandable they would attempt to get a slice of the pick-up pie when millions of these trucks are sold worldwide each year. Hyundai seems likely to attempt to tap into the market by offering a truck they can sell for thousands less than those currently on the market. Most people think the question is not if, but when, Hyundai will enter the pick-up truck market and what their offering will look like. Some insiders say it will be based on the Talus HCD9 crossover previewed at the Detroit Auto show.
Most likely the new pickup will have a 4.6-liter V8, a six-speed automatic transmission and class-leading options. It’s a concept Hyundai has been reportedly working on for the US market for quite some time. While the Korean automaker has been mum on the details, it’s believed the Hyundai has chosen 2017 as a tentative release date because that is when the 25% tax on new foreign pick-ups entering the US market expires. Midsize and light-Duty, trucks are a market worth targeting. Some anticipate it will offer a 1500lb payload and 5000lbs of towing capacity.
While it may have lower RPM torque and a little less horsepower than its competition, it could capture a good enough market share to justify the investment. Plus it will help the Hyundai brand continue to increase its profile in the US market. The fact that Hyundai already produces small commercial vans means its a short walk to entry into the lucrative pick-up truck market. Even if they produced a Hyundai pickup truck with a 5.5 to 6 foot bed, it could receive a warm welcome in the marketplace. Questions about the suspension and the chassis remains, but these are details Hyundai has time to work out.
Hyundai’s history of producing vehicles with a low price point can help its entry into the US pick-up truck market. While Hyundai’s new offering may not be able to tow your boat or your mobile home, it should have enough power for people who just want a pick-up truck to transport a dirt bike, gardening supplies or just scoot around town. Its potentially low price could make it the ideal first vehicle for many youngsters as long as it offers decent gas mileage and handling. If Hyundai can pair that with a decent 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, it may just make a splash.
While it may not impress guys who want a full-size truck; a shiny, new affordable truck with good gas mileage and a plethora of comforts could find lots of takers. Because Hyundai has been keeping its cards close to its vest, not much can be confirmed about this potential new offering. But all the guesswork has created a buzz that Hyundai has to be enjoying. It’s free advertising worth its weight in gold and could provide the type of feedback the Korean automaker can use to make a final decision one way or the other.
Potential customers are already dreaming out loud about the options they would like to see. Some are hoping for a manual transmission. Others are dreaming about a timing chain and a great extended warranty. The rumor mill may help to inform Hyundai management on what they need to do to make their new pick-up truck a hit with US consumers. True, they’ll have to find a niche market to have consistent success, but most of the signs point to a receptive market should Hyundai take the plunge into the lucrative US light-duty pick-up truck market.
The devil is in the details for Hyundai. A false start could set them back a tidy chunk of change and damage their reputation. However, a solid selling Hyundai pickup truck could potentially make Hyundai a force to be reckoned with in the American pick-up truck market.