News that Hyundai is looking to offer a proper workhorse ute in the years ahead is good news for Kia's Australian arm, too, but the company's local management isn't exactly crying itself to sleep in the meantime.
"It doesn't really frustrate us, to be quite honest, because we've been on a great path with what we've got. And what we believe in, is that we get what we need to sell to the consumer - and we're pretty happy with our line-up."
"Would we love a light commercial range? Of course we would. When it comes, we'll be ready," he added.
Above, and top of article: a pair of Kia ute sketches published by enthusiast site Kia-World. Neither has been claimed by Kia.
Kia is Australia's fastest-growing volume brand this year, with 4662 last month to be up 26 per cent. Meredith expects the brand to finish on about 54,500 sales for the year, which would mark a 28 per cent improvement on the previous year.
In September, it was Australia's 8th best-selling brand, and currently claims 42,170 sales year-to-date (YTD).
Could Kia jump ahead of Volkswagen (42,563 sales YTD), or Mitsubishi (59,407), or Ford (60,465) if it had a ute? Meredith isn't prepared to make any bold predictions, but he does concede there's an obvious void in his current line-up.
"The big hole is a light commercial range, because I think that's now about 16 per cent of the total market (closer to 18, in fact - CA), so it'd be great to be able to compete in those segments. But, we're not, so."
"I think that we would probably be… A, it'd be a great car, and B, if you had a light commercial range with a seven-year warranty, I think that'd probably give you a competitive advantage, wouldn't it.
"We've built our growth on the seven-year warranty, that's no secret. We wouldn't bring in a vehicle now without a seven-year warranty."