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Following its successful releases in the sports sedan, small SUV, and full-size SUV segments, Kia is now planning to tackle a new one–the truck segment.

The Korean automaker previously said it was looking into the possibility of developing a pickup truck that could compete with the Ford Ranger. And, according to a recent report by CarGuide, the project has officially started for the brand.

, Kia Wants New Pickup Truck to Go Head to Head with the Ford Ranger
Kia said its first pickup truck will not be a “lifestyle vehicle” like its corporate sibling, the Hyundai Santa Cruz.

However, work is currently exclusive to Kia Australia. Its Chief Operating Officer, Damien Meredith, recently confirmed that work has commenced on their side of the world with regard to the brand’s new pickup. It was also revealed that the model is expected for release in Australia in 2022 or 2023, coinciding with the launch of a new Hyundai variant that is also likely to share the same platform.

Additionally, Meredith emphasized that the first pickup truck from the brand will not be a “lifestyle vehicle” like its corporate sibling, the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Instead, it will be a rugged off-roader.

“We’re talking about a dual-cab, a single-cab–what we’ve requested is the full gambit for the ute, and that [includes] a dual-cab with diesel and petrol [options],” he shared.

But with production being limited to Kia Australia at the moment, what is the likelihood for the new Kia truck to reach American soil?

The company has not made any announcement on the matter, although it seems highly likely now that the Australian version has been confirmed. But if it does eventually decide to launch its first pickup in the United States, there is a chance the truck won’t be offered with a single-cab or diesel option. It is also possible for the brand to struggle in what already is a very crowded segment for mid-size pickup trucks in America, considering that it will have to battle established models such as the Ford Ranger, Jeep Gladiator, and Honda Ridgeline.

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