Kia Corporation said it planned to enter the global pickup truck market in 2025 with the Tasman multi purpose model aimed at both the ‘working’ and ‘lifestyle’ sub-segments of the sector.

Sister company Hyundai Motor launched its Alabama built Santa Cruz pickup in the US in 2021, a model based on the Tucson SUV chassis and also targeted at the lifestyle segment.

The Tasman would enter an increasingly crowded market, where traditionally strong Japanese brands were struggling to make progress and Chinese companies were increasing their presence.

Kia said it would implement “a phased global launch strategy that includes markets like South Korea, Australia, [New Zealand], Africa and the Middle East”. The model, which the company said “is inspired by the rugged beauty and pioneering spirit of Tasmania”, is being developed very much with the substantial Australian market in mind.

Ford’s Ranger is regularly both top selling overall vehicle model in Australia as well as top truck. In New Zealand, the Ranger and Toyota’s Hilux regularly exchange the top light commercial spot.

Kia said the Tasman would be the “brand’s bold first step into the global C-segment pickup truck market. Not just a practical work partner, the Tasman redefines the concept of a lifestyle pickup to offer a suitable companion for a dynamic 24/7 lifestyle, catering to diverse personal and extreme leisure pursuits”.

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