Hyundai Australia is keeping its eye on development of the prized Toyota HiLux- and Ford Ranger-rivalling ute range that its Korean parent is finally committed to developing.
Hyundai is the third most popular brand by sales in Australia, but has little chance of catching Mazda or Toyota without a proper ute to complement its hugely popular iLoad van — considering around one-in-six new vehicles sold here are pickups.
We've long known that Hyundai has been working on a new LCV, to feed the growing number of regions desperate for one - not just Australia, but South America and South-East Asia.
The bad news? Don't expect to see the Hyundai HiLux rival until 2021 or later...
"The official word is that ute is developing now, but in the HMC world, six months or next year is a long way out. It’s not this side of 2020," Hyundai Australia COO Scott Grant told us.
"We have no information, or official confirmation of what it means, what configuration it is…
"It’s been asked for by a number of different markets in the configuration that works for us. We want a HiLux, Colorado, Ranger, that kind of product."
And why would it not. The HiLux and Ranger are the two biggest-selling vehicles in Australia of any sort, and the Colorado and Triton are regularly up there too.
The other load-lugger in the Hyundai family, the Santa Cruz sporty pickup for the US market, is not likely for us though - even if it might make for an interesting Holden Ute/Ford Falcon Ute successor.
"… Santa Cruz is a different proposition, we don’t have any interest for it, even if it happens at all, and in right-hand drive," Grant said.
"We’re focusing on proper 4x4 and 4x2 truck."
Hyundai's iLoad has proven to be a reliable van, and often outsells even the Toyota HiAce in-market. We'd imagine the ute would launch with lots of interest. Tick tock.