Kia Introduces Tasman Pickup Truck Overseas

April 16th, 2024 by


Just when you think you’ve seen it all in the auto industry, automakers will always surprise us. There are plenty of vehicles out there that are only sold overseas, so the U.S. is unaware of the many vehicles a brand may actually have. For instance, Kia Corp is known for many SUVs, a couple of crossover hatchbacks, a few sedans, and a growing lineup of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). They have a minivan over in South Korea, and another vehicle type we haven’t seen from the automaker – a pickup truck. The latter is getting another addition to the overseas lineup in 2025, but sources say the U.S. could finally get a Kia pickup truck after it makes the rounds in the east.

Called the “Tasman”, there is no official word on this pickup truck going beyond its current regional market(s). So far, available for the Tasman is set for South Korea, Australia, Africa, and the Middle East. There is, as of yet, no confirmation for the first Korean pickup truck to reach the U.S. market. There was once a pickup truck from Kia, namely its parent group Hyundai Motor in 2021. Known as the unibody Hyundai Santa Cruz, a compact lifestyle vehicle based on the Tucson SUV, we would hardly call this a pickup truck. It’s more like an SUV with a small bed, but if the 2024 New York International Show is anything to go by, Hyundai might be leaning a little more into the truck side of things going forward.

As for the Tasman nameplate, it’s named after the island state of Tasmania off the southeastern coast of Australia. Unlike the looney toon Tasmanian Devil, this carnivorous marsupial doesn’t speak like a caveman or create a tornado wherever it goes. It is, however, stocky with a muscular build, covered in black fur, and known to be ferocious. The moniker for the Tasman pickup truck is supposed to evoke the spirit of adventure and exploration amongst consumers, but many pictures on the internet seem a little lackluster at the moment. Said to be a competitor for the current Ford Ranger, a new model could spice things up – especially a sporty four-door crew cab.

Riding on the traditional body-on-frame platform, the Kia Tasman pickup truck may remain in the east. Kia has been known to only build certain vehicles for certain markets based on specific purposes or uses. Take the Kia Seltos, for instance – first designed for India as a simple vehicle that is reliable and offers variety. About a year later, it came to the States as the fancy new crossover (or subcompact SUV) from Kia. With a “phased global launch strategy”, the automaker confirms the Tasman has a chance to be sold stateside. It would be a surefire win for the automaker, given the huge American appetite for pickup trucks. Plus, so many consumers across the world are already a huge fan of the automaker. Introducing a pickup truck to the North American lineup just makes sense. Like the Kia Stinger, it would definitely bring a whole new flock of consumers saying, “I didn’t know Kia made pickup trucks.”

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Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Media
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