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Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Kia Australia says it has been more heavily involved in the development of its TK ute than it’s been in any vehicle before it, suggesting the ‘Tasman’ will be tailored for Australian drivers and conditions.
Asked if Australia has been more involved in the development of the ute than in any other vehicle, Kia Australia CEO Damien Meredith replied “without a doubt”.
“The involvement of (Kia Australia general manager of product planning Roland Rivero) and his team has been huge, and the same goes for (ride, handling and engineering expert Graeme Gambold),” he said.
“What they’ve done is, over a long period of time, is able to build up strong trust with R&D, and I’ve been amazed at how early the guys have gone into the development aspect of the light commercial range.
“It’s a credit to them, and a credit to Kia Australia.”
According to Kia here, the Australian team has been responsible for around “30 percent” of the ute’s development, working in conjunction with Kia in Korea and in the ute’s – which could be called the Tasman – other key markets.
“I think if you took the Korean aspect of it and the rest of the world aspect of it, we’re probably 30 percent of what has been occurring, so it’s been significant,” Meredith says.
A four-cylinder turbodiesel is now the most likely powertrain for the new ute, with Kia in Australia saying it’s aiming for where the volume is in the dual-cab marker, rather than a big-engined halo.
“We’ve said all along that if we’re going to develop this vehicle, then it has to be a solid competitor for HiLux and Ranger,” Rivero has told CarsGuide.
“Look at the big-ticket (engines) that are doing the most sales. We always cut it up and dissect accordingly and look at where the big volume is.
“We’re not mucking around when it comes to the ute. We wan to make sure that the first attempt at a ute from our brand is one that’s going to do well in our market.”
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