The Korea Herald


Kia unveils new pickup brand Tasman

By Moon Joon-hyun

Published : April 11, 2024 - 15:04

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(Kia) (Kia)

Korean automaker Kia on Thursday officially unveiled its first-ever pickup truck, the Kia Tasman, setting its sights primarily on the Australian market with a diesel-powered model planned for 2025.

The Tasman, whose name pays homage to the Tasman Sea that lies between Australia and New Zealand, represents Kia's most direct nod to Australian culture. It is the first Kia product to bear an Aussie-inspired name.

The name also reflects the country’s deep affinity for pickup trucks, colloquially known as "utes" -- short for utility vehicles -- in Australia.

Pickups lead vehicle sales in Australia. The launch places Tasman in direct competition with established leaders such as the Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux and Isuzu D-Max. Kia aims to capture a 10 percent market share, setting a sales target of 20,000 units annually.

The campaign leading up to the announcement involved a series of promotional videos featuring Australian sports celebrities to boost local interest and engagement on Kia Australia’s YouTube channel.

Kia's strategy involves a broader rollout of the Tasman across three key markets by 2025, including its home base in Korea and the Middle East, catering to a variety of outdoor enthusiasts and adapting to diverse terrains, from city landscapes to deserts.