Kia Australia stays tight-lipped about double taxi ute shared with Hyundai
Kia Australia stays tight-lipped about the possibility of presenting a double taxi ute in Australia, regardless of record development in the section and the predominance of the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger at the top of the sales charts.
When inquired as to whether there may be a double taxi ute not too far off, Kia Australia manager Damien told Drive: “We’d love to have one, but we have no further information.”
Tales have circulated for certain years that Kia and its South Korean partner brand Hyundai are secretly working on a adversary to the Toyota HiLux.
Each time Kia and Hyundai executives in Australia are asked by local media about the top secret project, they end up in steaming hot water with head office.
The nearest Hyundai or Kia has to an ute right now is the US-market Santa-Cruz, however that depends on the Tucson SUV and isn’t an adversary to the Toyota HiLux.
“It is true that I got into trouble from head office in regard to talking about (the possibility of) light commercial vehicles for our market,” said Mr Meredith, prior to adding that if such a vehicle were to ultimately be sold in Kia showrooms, it would give the brand another sales support.
The Kia Australia manager says he doesn’t see the popularity of double taxi utes disappearing any time soon, but he surrendered the expanding notoriety of pick-ups had surpassed the assumptions for most specialists in the vehicle business.
“You would have had to be a genius,” he said in response to a question about whether industry experts could have better forecast the epic sales growth.
The Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger have been Australia’s top two selling vehicles altogether for four of the past five years – and both are ready to top the podium in the current year’s sales race.
Indeed, Kia believes the demand for double taxi utes is ready to increment as more Australians holiday at home in the wake of international travel limitations due to the Covid.
“I think (demand) will get stronger to be quite honest,” said Mr Meredith.
“We see that with people in our team who would jump at the chance to drive a Kia light commercial vehicle if there was one, because of their lifestyle and the leisure activities they engage in.
“And I think that is becoming more and more the picture with vehicles of this type. I can only see the segment growing.”