Built Hyundai Tough?

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan

Hyundai is riding high. They’re being thought of in the same vein as Honda in terms of quality, the same as Ford in terms of value and the same as Toyota in terms of reliability. So what could be left for Hyundai to do? They want you to think of them as a …

Yep, they want you think of them as a Detroit Dinosaur.

Pickuptrucks has it that Hyundai wants to venture deep into the pickup segment. As in full size. As in big. As in last vestige of America. (And of that American company called Toyota. But do real guys drive Tundras?) Hyundai recently held research clinics with truck customers in California and Texas to learn more about the truck buying public. They used a Ram 1500 truck with a Hyundai grille and a few other touches. Looking through the one-way mirror, they tried to gauge the reactions of the lab-rats in the clinic.

What makes this story interesting is that Hyundai America doesn’t seem that interested in pickup trucks. “We never say never about future products we might add,” said a spokesperson for Hyundai America, “but pickup trucks are not a high priority for us.”. Well, if they’re not a high priority, then why the clinics? A rogue experiment? According to Pickuptrucks, Hyundai Motors (the Korean parent of Hyundai America) is conducting the vivisection, and could have left Hyundai America in the dark. Wouldn’t be the first time an overseas concern does that. Jeez, Hyundai America can be happy that the parents in Seoul are asking American customers.

So if Hyundai does decide to press on with a serious Hyundai pickup truck, would it mean extra jobs coming into the United States? Maybe, maybe not. Sure, the still is that pesky 25 percent chicken tax, which even Ford hates. Although foreign companies build their trucks in the United States to avoid import tariff, Hyundai may have an out and around here. In 2007, the United States and South Korea signed a free trade agreement. That agreement says that the 25 percent tariff on South Korean built trucks coming to the United States will have chickened-out by 2017. Which means, by then, you could have a South Korean built truck on the US market.

If the above still holds true, the price of that truck will be lower, the quality will be good and the reliability will be high. All Detroit can do is – pray.

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  • Mr Carpenter Mr Carpenter on May 10, 2010

    Carguy, I was just having a conversation with a car-guy buddy of mine in his garage while he was pinstriping my new car. He says his (highly customized but mechanically stock) 2WD S-10 pickup only gets about 12 miles per gallon, and that more modern full-sized pickups do better. He says that given the typical American habit of wanting to take family AND "stuff" along in the four door pickups of today, mid-sized or "small-ish" trucks don't make any sense at all for most Americans. Then, too, look at sales of GM's Colorado and Canyon twins (awful) as well as the Dodge (whoops - "Ram") Dakota. Also awful. Hyundai has some chance, especially if they can do a 1/2 ton diesel rig with 4 doors, plenty of room, optional AWD and plenty of towing moxy. But even so, most buyers go for V8's (which Hyundai has proven they can build well). There's also highly prosperous Western Canada, and Australia - where the vehicles would more than likely also sell well. Should be enough to keep one factory busy (and with V6's shared with the current Genesis, and even V8's from the Genesis, it seems logical that it'd help keep costs down - unless the Hemi V8 were manufactured, which obviously would involve Fiat giving up rights to the design or at least selling rebadged trucks to Hyundai at the outset). Kind of like what Honda did when they bought Isuzu SUV's before developing their own.

    • See 2 previous
    • Windswords Windswords on May 11, 2010

      I had a '92 regular cab S-10 long bed with the 2.8 V6 and 5 speed manual. I consistently got 24-25 mpg on the highway. Once I got 26+. It already had 114,000 miles on it when I bought it. When I sold it (still running) it had 229,000 miles.

  • Accs Accs on May 29, 2010

    I think this is positively HYSTERICAL. Ya'd have to be a FOOL to look at the Hyundai version of a Dodge pickup.. and figure out the styling isn't theirs. Everything Hyundai does.. is milquetoast. Their styling is boring.--(The design for the current Sonata and all other sedan - 3box vehicles that COME from it style wise, cost wise and aspirational ladderwise... come from being in the aero tunnels.) They just don't draw the lines on the paper to be that LOW. In theory.. the Sonata design THEORY is cohesive.. and its only natural (in this day and age to see aerodynamics as the natural fluid form of any vehicle.) -- Forget styling efforts and design in the past 20yrs in this instance, moot point. Their SUVs / CUVs are more of a styling effort. The Borrego is a failure.. being late to the party. The rest is trying not to do any faux pas that their competition does.. paired with the cheapo Korean price. (Which DOESN'T surprise me at all.. that PRICE is the biggest kicker. Forget the vehicle itself...) Which violates everything I personally believe in. Find the vehicle ya want, then at the PRICE ya want.. then work down from there. --------------------------------- Back on topic.. I can tell.. virtually any vehicle.. from ANY OTHER in the past 10yrs.. without the badges or any markings.. by how the design of the cars has matured. Its a crock of shit.. to try and pull that over on a focus group. Are people that easily fooled?!-- (Brings up very negative badge engineering comments from virtually EVERY automaker.) I'd love to find a pic of this crock of crap. But seriously.. Look at the Linc Mark LT.. ya cant tell me that not a Ford F-150 loaded underneath?! C'mon.. I'm not stupid. But damn.. I'd love to go to one of these.. Now as far as the whole truck market psychology goes.. this is really getting tired: Ford and GM have had the MOST variation.. (with the MOST direct competition, until the Ford ad guy comes in and offers a competing "brand".. some Ford/GM guy HE is) which I'm sure brings in the customers. Chrysler only exists for DOMESTIC cost. Toyota.. has been at this crazy game.. for coming in 2 decades.. and THEY HAVE YET to conquer it. Look at their current issues for the reasoning. Nissan tried to do the same thing.. figuring if ya can be "bothered" to buy "Japanese".. maybe I can impress ya to buy this. Forget Honda.. moot point. But seriously.. Who thought a Hyundai badged Dodge is going to fool anyone. Not me.. I know better.

  • Master Baiter I'll wait for the actual driving reviews. User interface quality and range are big question marks.
  • Jeff S Years ago Kentucky issued a license plate with a horse running with the words "Unbridled Spirit." The religious right objected and did not want the plate because they believed it encouraged people to go to the race track and bet on horses. Anyone who knows anything about Kentucky knows its famous for raising horses and yes there is Churchill Downs where the Kentucky Derby is run but horses in themselves are not sinful. It got so bad that the state issued a blank sticker to put over the horse and the logo. Kentucky also issued a plate for those who were offended stating "In God We Trust." The latest KY plate has no logo and nothing. I always picked the horse because I thought horses were something to be proud of and associated with Kentucky.
  • Old Scold As a Marylander, I got those plates assigned to me when I purchased my car in 2016, 4 years after the so-called anniversary. I figured they were using up NOS, and it never occurred to me to check out the URL. I still don't care. It's a stupid issue, but I have my tag number memorized should I need it.
  • Hpycamper I drive a car with automatic braking and have nothing good to say about it. It has activated going around corners on mountain roads when the hillside is close to the road, when lawn sprinklers turned on and sprayed the car, and driving past cars on the shoulder that are making right turns. Luckily these phantom brake activations have not caused a wreck. The systems are just too dumb.
  • SCE to AUX How long until that $90k yields a profit for my grandchildren?