It appears that Kia has commenced development of a brand new range of light pick-up trucks to rival the likes of the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton, CarAdvice reports. The Korean pick-up is said to be based on a shared platform with Hyundai, and will hit markets by 2022 or 2023.

If this were to be true, the pick-up truck range will fill a reasonably large gap in both the brand’s product portfolio. Based on the same report, the pick-up truck market share in Australia is around 20%, which means Hyundai-Kia are losing out on potentially thousands of sales with high profit margins a year.

In Australia, Kia’s sales continues to grow in a slowing market, placing sixth in total volume, behind Ford. The addition of a pick-up model could very well springboard the Korean brand further up the ranks. Currently, the only Korean offering on sale in the market is the SsangYong Musso.

Kia Australia boss Damien Meredith said: “The good news is there is a conversation [with KMC]. It’s still a way off, but we’re confident in the near future the group will have a light commercial range in Australia.”

Meredith has requested “the full gamut” of offerings, meaning single- and dual-cabs, diesel and petrol, and rear-wheel or four-wheel-drive. The models are said to get a market-specific suspension tuning, and testing could include extensive hot weather runs.

Kia Australia is targeting between eight to 10% market share, which based on last year’s 4×2 and 4×4 ute sales would be equivalent to around 20,000 units. That would be a significant boost to Kia’s total sales – the company sold close to 59,000 units of passenger cars and SUV last year. About time, isn’t it?

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