Here’s confirmation that Hyundai will be launching a pick-up truck very soon, with a Kia version coming after. Autocar quotes Luc Donckerwolke, the new chief design officer at Hyundai Motor Group, saying that the truck based on the Santa Cruz concept from Detroit 2015 is under development and will arrive “as soon as possible.”

“You’ve seen the (Santa Cruz) pick-up from the 2015 Detroit show, that car is under development at Hyundai,” said the former Lamborghini and Bentley designer who replaced Peter Schreyer at Hyundai-Kia. When asked how soon it will arrive, the Belgian said “as soon as possible. From my side (design) it is finished, the process to put it into production is now under way.”

Donckerwolke also said that a Kia version of the upcoming Hyundai truck, with differences in exterior and interior design, is also under consideration, but would arrive later.

The UK mag’s report says that a 2020 launch is likely, but it remains to be seen if Hyundai will roll out a “compact truck” – the one-tonne pick-ups we’re familiar with such as the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger are compact in the US – or introduce a full-size truck to take on the likes of Ford’s F-150 and GM’s Chevrolet Silverado.

Of course, the smaller truck will have a wider global appeal. Besides ASEAN stalwarts like the above-mentioned two models, the Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara – which are exported to the world from Thailand – European brands have been entering the segment via the rebadge route. The Mercedes-Benz X-Class (Navara), Renault Alaskan (Navara) and Fiat Fullback (Triton) are examples.

Would a Hyundai one-tonne truck gain traction in our patch? Nothing is impossible, but it would be very difficult against such established rivals, especially in a segment which prizes reputation for hardiness and durability. Not that the Koreans can’t come up with a hardy machine, but the upstart won’t have the heritage and testimonials. It has to be “very lifestyle” to stand any chance, IMHO. What say you?

GALLERY: Hyundai Santa Cruz Crossover Truck concept