June 16, 2024
Industry News

Kia Australia looks to challenge Land Cruiser with new body-on-frame SUV


Kia will soon enter the body-on-frame midsize pickup segment with a model called Tasman, following in the footsteps of Toyota and Ford. The truck is nearing production, and Kia’s Australian arm is looking to expand into the body-on-frame SUV segment using the Tasman as a starting point.

The project may seem straightforward on paper, with other automakers like Toyota and Ford already successfully implementing similar strategies. Turning the Tasman into a Kia-branded Land Cruiser-like SUV seems like a natural progression, as the platform is already in place. However, creating a new model involves more than just fitting puzzle pieces together. Kia’s Australian division expressed interest in a body-on-frame SUV and is actively lobbying for its development with executives in South Korea.

The potential SUV would fill a void in Kia’s lineup, as the aging Borrego (Mohave) is expected to retire soon. The decision to replace it with a Tasman-based model is still uncertain. Market demand in key regions like South Africa and the Middle East will also play a crucial role in the SUV’s development.

While a body-on-frame SUV could potentially appeal to American consumers, the homologation process presents a significant challenge. The platform was not designed with the US market in mind, and navigating regulations like the Chicken Tax could be a costly endeavor.

Ultimately, the success of a Kia body-on-frame SUV hinges on various factors aligning, as emphasized by Roland Rivero, the general manager of product planning for Kia Australia.



1. **Will Kia be launching a body-on-frame SUV?** Kia’s Australian arm is pushing for the development of a body-on-frame SUV, but its release is subject to global market demand.
2. **What platform will the potential SUV be based on?** The SUV is expected to be based on the Tasman, Kia’s upcoming midsize pickup platform.
3. **Is there a timeline for the launch of the new SUV model?** As of now, no official timeline has been announced for the release of the body-on-frame SUV.

The possibility of Kia expanding into the body-on-frame SUV segment with a Tasman-based model presents both opportunities and challenges. While the concept seems promising, the path to production and market availability is complex and involves considerations like global demand and regulatory hurdles. Kia’s potential entry into this segment will likely depend on a combination of market conditions and strategic decision-making within the company.

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