The company is focused on global projects.
Australia has been expecting two new Kia models, a body-on-frame SUV and pickup, though it sounds like neither will arrive anytime soon. Two new reports from CarsGuide have Kia shedding light on their development, and it sounds like neither vehicle is a priority for the brand right now as the company focuses on higher-volume vehicles.
The truck will miss its rumored 2022 delivery date, and it could be a few more years before it does arrive if it arrives at all. Kia Australia COO Damien Meredith told the publication that there’s still no “clear direction” on what’s happening with the model. That puts the future of Kia’s SUV in doubt, too, as Kia was planning to use the truck’s platform to underpin the new off-roader. Ronald Rivers, Kia Australia General Manager – Product, told CarsGuide that Kia’s priority is “where the biggest volume is at.”
Gallery: 2020 Kia Mohave
Kia confirmed in July 2019 that development had begun on a proper pickup for Australia, so it’s far from a secret, but priorities do shift for automakers. Rumors of an SUV appeared last September. The truck was rumored to be available in single- and dual-cab configurations with both gasoline and diesel options. At the time, Meredith said it would not be a “lifestyle vehicle” like the Hyundai Santa Cruz. It’s still unclear if either model would arrive in the US market as the pickup truck segment here is quite competitive.
Meredith also told the publication that a body-on-frame pickup could sell quite well on the continent, adding that he told Kia executives several years ago that 20,000 in sales would be possible. “I haven’t changed my view on that,” he said. Neither project is dead, though the company is focusing its resources elsewhere, emphasizing “numerous global projects,” and a changing market could further disrupt their development. Surprisingly, this wouldn’t be the brand’s first body-on-frame SUV as the company already offers the Mohave, which was updated in 2019 for the 2020 model year.