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by Matt Campbell

The on-again/off-again talk of a pick-up or ute from Hyundai Australia is definitely on again, but buyers will have to wait until after 2020 to get their hands on one.

Hyundai Motor Company Australia chief operating officer Scott Grant told media that it’s a constant talking point in the company’s offices.

“We’ve been talking about it for a number of years,” Grant said. “HMC [Hyundai Motor Company] has been listening, typically, but not necessarily taking a lot of action due to other priorities in other markets and other developments.”

The reasoning behind that apparent hesitance is clear – HMC has a bunch of other priorities, like the new luxury brand Genesis and establishing the N division for its performance models.

Building a ute, which would presumably require a standalone platform, and therefore a huge investment, and that might not have huge sales potential in established markets such as Australia and Thailand.

“About 12-18 months ago HMC begun its own study for developing a light commercial vehicle, for our part of the market as well as what North America would like,” Grant said referring to the lifestyle-focused Hyundai Santa Cruz, a model that was mooted for Australia previously. But not anymore.

“You’ve seen the developments for North America [Santa Cruz] and that is not applicable to our market but our market program is still in development and we’re confident in having on the other side of 2020.”

When it launches, the Hyundai ute is expected to be a dual-cab 4×4, much like the current crop of big-sellers that includes the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger.

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