free hit counter code Kia Tasman-based Fortuner rival already on the ‘want’ list –

Kia Tasman-based Fortuner rival already on the ‘want’ list

Kia has indicated that it is open to the idea of remaining in the bakkie-based SUV segment despite its only entrant, the Mohave, being set for reported discontinuing within the next two months.

No apparent platform sharing

Earlier this month, a report from South Korea claimed the brand’s only body-on-frame SUV would end in production in July amidst not only sliding sales, but also to make way for the Tasman bakkie at Hwaseong Plant from next year.

At the same time, the end of the South Korean-market only Mohave, currently in its second generation introduced in 2019, would also spell the end of its 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6 engine once rumoured for the now four-cylinder only Tasman.

ALSO READ: Almost South Africa certain Kia Tasman shows itself in first teasers

Until now believed to have made use of the same platform as the Mohave, which seemingly isn’t the case, the roll-out of the Tasman will outwardly involve a new architecture with no relations, but still capable of supporting a rival to the Toyota Fortuner, Isuzu MU-X, Ford Everest, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and Mahindra Scorpio-N.

Tasman SUV will need support

Asked about the possibility of such a model becoming a reality though, Kia Australia’s General Manager of Product Planning, Roland Rivero, admitted while it would “love” a Mohave successor, significant “negotiating” would have to take place to convince head office of approving such a model.

“With Mohave already developed, and I know Mohave is a fairly old product now, but at this point in time globally you need a strong global case, not just an Australian business case,” Rivero was quoted by as saying.

“So, we’d love to spawn a ladder-frame SUV, like an Everest competitor, out of that same (Tasman) platform. And theoretically you could, but it is something that we still have to negotiate hard with headquarters”.

Kia bakkie versus Mohave
Production of the Kia Mohave will come to an end in July in order to make way for the Tasman. Image: Kia South Korea

Rivero went further by saying that support for a Tasman-based SUV would have to come from other markets as well and not just Australia where most of the bakkie’s development had taken place.

Naming South Africa as one such market, Rivero said, “what we need for it to happen is other markets, major markets that source Tasman, to also want to have a ladder frame SUV.

“We’re hoping that South Africa or the Middle East would be keen on it, but at the end of the day we need all of the stars to align for something like to happen”.

Tasman coming in 2025

Set to be unveiled towards the end of the year in readiness for the commencing of production and sales in 2025, the Tasman is an all but certainty for South Africa as per comments by Kia South Africa CEO Gary Scott last month.

“Where we position the Tasman will be very important. We need to show respect to the bakkie market in South Africa in determining where it will fit in,” Scott told The Citizen on the sidelines of the facelift Picanto launch in Cape Town.

“We don’t want it to be like other models which has come with big aspirations but were not able to pull it off. Yes, the Tasman name obviously makes it relevant to Australia, but I think it is just as relevant in South Africa”.

For the time being, the Tasman SUV remains purely speculative and not confirmed, though don’t be surprised if matters become more serious once Tasman sales kick-off.

NOW READ: ‘Secret’ no more as Kia confirms Tasman name for first ever bakkie

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