Kia Tasman pickup announced for global markets at least

Hyundai has offered a pickup in the United States for a few years now, but its corporate cousin, Kia, has never dipped its toe into the truck market. The automaker won’t be without a ‘ute for long, however, as it recently confirmed the Tasman, a global pickup aimed at markets in South Korea, the Middle East, and elsewhere.

Before going too far, it’s worth noting that Kia did not confirm the truck for the U.S. market, but given Hyundai’s Santa Cruz and the pair’s extensive lineup here, it wouldn’t be out of the question. That said, the Chicken Tax could be a significant hurdle to overcome if Kia doesn’t build it here.

The automaker started EV9 production in South Korea but has invested in its U.S. facilities to eventually accommodate the SUV at its Georgia plant. EV6 production remains in South Korea, making it ineligible for the federal EV tax credits, though leasing remains a workaround for some buyers.

Kia didn’t share any details on the vehicle, but rumors have pointed to a diesel powertrain in Australia. It will also get all- or four-wheel-drive options and may be offered with a couple of cab configurations.

Though this is a big step for Kia, it has also promised two electric pickups in the next few years. The Tasman will be positioned as a C-segment truck, meaning a smaller model similar to the Ford Ranger. We don’t know where Kia’s electric models will land, but one will likely be close to the Tasman’s size.

Electric trucks often fall short on range when towing and hauling loads, but a smaller, urban-oriented EV could be the sweet spot. Short delivery routes, light payloads, and infrequent towing are an excellent fit for electric vehicles, especially in Europe, so it would be surprising to see a full-size Kia pickup, even for Americans.

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