US dealers want a truck but emerging markets may get it first.
Automotive News is reporting Hyundai is investigating a foray into the pickup market. This comes after last month’s signing of a free trade agreement between South Korea and the United States which aims to eliminate the “Chicken Tax” on imported pickups by 2021.
“We are studying that one very hard — what kind of pickup truck we should produce, if we have to. Is it a big-size pickup truck like in the United States or a small kind of pickup truck?” said Lee In-cheol, vice president of international sales to Automotive News.
With 2021 a long time off, a Hyundai (or Kia) truck may first be sold in an emerging market, much like how Ford sells the global Ranger in Thailand (where it’s produced) but not here in North America. Lifting the chicken tax, which imposes a 25% tariff on imported trucks, may open the door for other automakers to import trucks to North America produced in countries where labour costs are much less.