Cracking the popular pickup truck market seems a right move for the Korean carmaker that has suffered falling sales in its major market, as United States consumers continue to shift away from sedans in favor of larger cars.
"Hyundai can confirm that the Santa Cruz concept has been greenlighted for development and is planned for the US market", the automaker said in a statement to Motor Authority without releasing any further details. The Hyundai pick up will be based on the Santa Cruz concept, and it'll be more your lifestyle kind of pick up, rather than your rough and ready workhorse.
It's unclear what the Hyundai pickup would be called. It's understood the U.S. will receive the new Kona small SUV later this year, a model that will launch in Australia next month.
The move to expand Hyundai's SUV range comes as crucial North American sales have slipped nearly 11 percent for the end of July 2017, with Australian sales following a similar trend, dipping 7.5 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Next up would be the compact Tucson SUV, which should arrive in new clothes at the turn of the decade.
"Santa Cruz is not on the radar for us", Mr Thomas said.
If you can't beat 'em, build pickup trucks to join 'em. Hyundai owns the trademark for "Santa Cruz", but also owns the trademarks for the names "Pinko" and "Creta", the former would be our favorite. "I do know that HMC [Hyundai Motor Company] is taking it very seriously and there's a model code allocated to it and there's some work under way, but what the time frames are as far as I'm aware there's no commitment". The rumor mill, meanwhile mentions a timeline for the Santa Cruz midsize pickup - late 2018 as a 2019 model year.
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