Hyundai ute confirmed

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15 July 2016 by Joshua Dowling · CarsGuide

Hyundai is finally poised to join the ute market, the third biggest vehicle category in Australia.

In the same week a historic deal was announced between Mazda and Isuzu to develop a ute comes the news Korean car giant Hyundai is finally poised to join the booming market.

Hyundai has the sales potential to overtake Mazda to become the number two brand behind Toyota in Australia -- but it has continually been held back by the lack of a ute.

Pick-ups are the third biggest vehicle category in Australia behind small cars and SUVs.

The Hyundai ute won't look like the one unveiled as a concept in the US; CarsGuide understands it will be a bonafide rival to the Toyota HiLux.

"What used to happen when we proposed a ute, (Hyundai head office) would say 'we will consider'," Hyundai Australia boss Scott Grant told CarsGuide this week.

"Now they are saying 'we understand, other markets have similar requirements, we're working towards making it happen'."

It's progressing, but nothing this side of 2020.

Grant adds "at this point there is no commitment on the product or the time frame, but they're saying we're working towards it".

"It's progressing, but nothing this side of 2020," he said.

By then, the next generation Ford Ranger will be in showrooms, as will an all-new Holden Colorado and the aforementioned Mazda-Isuzu twins.

So Hyundai has an uphill battle ahead. Its first ever workhorse ute not only needs to be better than the current crop of pick-ups, it needs to be better than their successors -- and all the advances in technology they will no doubt bring.

By then, most utes will have all the mod cons such as radar cruise control, automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert and 360-degree cameras. Plus other safety aids we've not even heard about yet.

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