The Hyundai Porter is a small pickup truck created by the Hyundai Group, first marketed in South Korea in 1977. The truck is one of the best selling vehicles in its home market, with about 75,000 units sold last year. That number puts the vehicle fourth on the list of top-selling vehicles sold in the Asian country.
Today, the Hyundai Porter is marketed widely globally and built on location in Pakistan and in Brazil. The truck is also built in Mexico for Dodge where it is known as the H-100 and is assembled in Malaysia for a local distributor. The Porter has a one-ton carrying capacity.
Up until this Spring, Hyundai was giving serious consideration to entering the US truck market with an Americanized version of its Porter truck. Apparently, high gas prices as well as crash and emissions restrictions have put that project on hold, though there is some dispute whether the Hyundai Porter was to underpin that particular American model.
Instead, Hyundai may have been giving consideration to building a truck exclusively for the US market, much as Toyota and Nissan have done with the Tundra and Titan respectively. Powered by a V8 and with displacement and towing capacity similar to the Tundra, the Hyundai model could have succeeded, but high gas prices likely have killed that project.
Though a large Hyundai pickup truck is likely dead, producing a small pickup truck could be the best approach for Hyundai. In this case, a modified version of the Hyundai Porter platform could power the truck, keeping costs down for Hyundai whiling providing a low-cost competitor for the Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger. With Mahindra from India also entering the US truck marketplace with its own compact truck, a small Hyundai truck might be welcomed by consumers.
Note: Hyundai Porter photo copyright the Hyundai Motor Group.