Hyundai/Kia cancels plan for U.S. pickup

Hyundai's on-again, off-again plans to bring a pickup to the U.S. market are... um, off again, and possibly for good this time. The news that neither Kia nor parent company Hyundai will offer a pickup should not come as much of a surprise, considering the sorry state of affairs in the U.S. truck market. Timing, as they say, is everything, though Honda's unibody Ridgeline pickup has actually weathered the storm well. A possible front-wheel-drive unibody truck competitor from Korea could have offered another fuel-saving choice for U.S. consumers who like the utility of a pickup but balk at the poor fuel mileage of the standard-fare full-frame rear-wheel-drive platform. Hyundai's not ready to take that bet, though, according to company CEO Kim Dong-Jin, who says, rather succinctly, "now is not the right time to produce a pickup truck." The Kia plant in West Point, Georgia will likely be used instead for the production of Hyundai passenger cars like the Sonata, which shares a platform with the Kia Optima that's already planned to be built at the plant.
[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]

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