Hyundai is discontinuing the Veracruz, its entry to the large cross/utility-vehicle segment. However, Hyundai isn’t leaving the segment totally. It’s expected to soon offer the long-wheelbase version of the next-generation midsize Santa Fe. Another possibility is a large luxury CUV. During a media event, John Krafcik, CEO-Hyundai Motor America, said that the automaker will be providing more information about a premium crossover soon. He said that Hyundai doesn’t have a specific plan for such a model but he said that he is intrigued about this segment. This possible large premium CUV will go up against other 3-row, unibody CUVs like the new Infiniti JX and Audi Q7, and the more affordable Dodge Journey and Kia Sorento.
Hyundai has mentioned a plan for CUVs and other models to be built on the rear-wheel-drive platform that underpins the premium Genesis and Equus sedans. Hyundai was optimistic about the Veracruz, which was expected to sell at least 50,000 units annually in the U.S. However, the Veracruz didn’t sell anywhere near this figure. According to WardsAuto, the vehicle peaked in 2007 with 12,589 deliveries. But sales from January to May 2012 fell by 2.4% with 3,112 units sold, when compared to sales during the same period last year.
When the Veracruz was launched in 2007, it was groomed to be a premium model. According to Internet tracking-firm Compete, the large CUV had frequently been cross-shopped together with the other CUVs of Hyundai and of Kia, as well as the midrange models such as the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Edge and Toyota RAV4 and Highlander. Hyundai is upbeat about the chances of the new Santa Fe in the U.S., with hopes that it will boost its CUV sales, similar to what the Sonata accomplished for the midsize sedan group. [source: Ward's Auto]