A completely unsubstantiated rumor says Hyundai is bringing a new pickup truck to the Detroit Auto Show next month. A baseless claim, but it got me thinking– if Hyundai undercut the hell out of the truck market and gave the US a barely-legal lightweight alternative, we might effectively have the "old Ranger" back.
Hyundai would be insane to go up against Ford, GM, and Ram in the half-ton class. With the new Colorado kicking ass and a redone Toyota Tacoma right around the corner, they'd be hard-up against overwhelming enemies in the mid-sized class too.
But the Korean carmaker could get an edge the way they always have; offer a "close enough" package to the other guys for a whole lot less money.
If they could put together a super-simple pickup with great MPG and remotely reasonable payload capacity, and offer it for significantly less than the other guys with that solid warranty of theirs, I think business customers would be more than happy to forgo GM, Toyota, or Nissan build quality for an inexpensive alternative.
Hyundai already sells pickups in other markets; Their H100/"Porter" chassis-cab vans are something like moderns VW Transporter... and pretty awesome. The chicken tax precludes them from importing these, but it wouldn't be impossible to start building something similar stateside.
I called Hyundai and asked about this of course. Their PR man Derek Joyce recited the familiar "can't comment on future product, but we'll have some surprises!"
I would be shocked if Hyundai trotted out a truck at this year's show. There have been no indications anything like that would happen. But, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on whether or not it's an idea they should explore.
Image by the author. I know, it's pretty great.