Latest News

Hyundai Porter – Coming to America?

In 1977, Hyundai began production of a pickup truck known as the Porter and hasn’t stopped producing it since. The Porter was clearly designed with industrial work in mind, as even the 70’s models lacked a certain design appeal conducive to a mass consumer market, especially in America. Despite its popularity overseas, it isn’t likely we will see a Hyundai Porter in America anytime soon.

Hyundai Porter - Coming to America?

A versatile work truck that is popular in other markets, the Hyundai Porter hasn't made the leap just yet into the U.S. market.

While the Hyundai Porter design was and still continues to be a success for a large variety of jobs, without the large engine and size of full-size work trucks, it hasn’t had a large following pushing for its inclusion in U.S. markets.

Rumors have recently surfaced that Hyundai executives were considering producing an altered version of the Porter for the U.S. market, but due to the rapid increase in gas prices, balked conceptual designing and the project was suspended. Hyundai does not currently offer a pickup truck of any size in its current U.S. lineup.

In light of the recent spikes in oil prices, manufacturers have begun designing and producing electric vehicles (EVs) and making more fuel efficient internal combustion engines. The push toward EVs has been accelerated by new U.S. legislation mandating a year-over-year increase in average fuel economy for vehicles sold here. To date, all EVs (such as the Nissan Leaf) have all been very, well, Nissan Leaf-esque: small commuter vehicles for asphalt only.

However, Smart, of Daimler AG, unveiled its new, all-electric pickup truck dubbed the Smart “For-Us” at the 2012 North American Auto Show. The For-Us is powered by a 75-horsepower electric motor powered by lithium-ion cells. While few industry analysts would likely claim Smart has the Tundra in its sights with its somewhat diminutive EV, it’s undeniable that a new market is emerging in America: Large pickup owners who want, may need, better fuel economy.

In this respect, the current 75-hp For-Us model may not have a place in a market so dominated by aircraft-carrier bed space, torque figures that at least contribute to tectonic shift, and power suitable for putting For-Us-sized NASA satellites into orbit.

Hyundai may want to consider a similar route when planning the Porter’s revival for the U.S. Not a competitor for the For-Us, but rather an expansion; a legitimate large pickup with viable cargo room and power output for commercial applications and zero miles per gallon… in a good way.

Related Posts: