Kia Tasman Pickup Teased, But Will It Come To The USA?

kia tasman
(Kia)
kia tasman
(Kia)

Kia is getting trucked up.

The South Korean automaker is putting the finishing touches on its first pickup.

The Tasman is a midsize model with a very traditional truck design.

Kia has released an official teaser image of the truck wearing a camouflage wrap designed by Australian artist Richard Boyd-Dunlop.

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kia tasman axle
(Kia)

Technical details are still secret, but the model appears to use a body-on-frame platform, rather than a unibody design like the smaller Santa Cruz from Kia’s sister company, Hyundai. The images clearly reveal it to have a live rear axle instead of the fully independent suspension featured on the Santa Cruz and the similar Ford Maverick and Honda Ridgeline. It is also presented on aggressive off-road tires and has prominent black fender flares showing through the wrap.

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The last body-on-frame model that Kia offered in the U.S. was the Borrego SUV, which has since been replaced by the popular unibody Kia Telluride. Kia hasn’t confirmed plans to sell the Tasman in the U.S., but a prototype has been spotted being tested in California.

If Kia were to sell it in the U.S., it would be subject to the 25% “Chicken Tax” unless it is manufactured in North America. Kia has a factory in Georgia, but it is not currently equipped to build a body-on-frame vehicle.

It is possible, however, that it could figure out how to offer it in the U.S. with the 25% tariff. Buick and Lincoln currently import crossover SUVs from China which are subject to a 27.5% tariff.