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Sources say Hyundai has a plan to pick up the Ram pickup

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Sources say Hyundai has a plan to pick up the Ram pickup

Automotive News -- May 17, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

Hyundai, which started out with small, low-priced vehicles, has been making some bold moves to extend the brand. It now offers a luxury sedan and coupe in the United States and is said to be talking about entering the full-sized pickup fray.

That wouldn't be easy; Toyota and Nissan tried full-sized pickups and failed to dent the dominance of the Detroit automakers. But high-flying Hyundai is feeling spunky these days.

Sources tell Reuters that the company has approached Chrysler about building a Hyundai-badged truck based on the Ram platform. Such a tie-up would take the place of a now-scuttled alliance between Chrysler and Nissan and could allow Chrysler to expand production and reduce costs for Ram, the No. 3-selling U.S. pickup.

The sources say Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne rebuffed Hyundai's initial approach in February, saying the automaker needs to focus on its turnaround plans. But Hyundai continues to look at truck options and could come back to Chrysler, the sources say.

One insider said Hyundai has shown a picture of a Ram-derived truck with a Hyundai badge to a focus group in California. It is unknown how the group reacted.

Said Hyundai Motor America spokesman Dan Bedore: "We never say never; however, at this stage, pickup trucks are not high on our priority list."

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100517/OEM01/305179961/-1#ixzz0oBpMbOGA

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