Hyundai has sold 1 millionth Santa Fe in the US

Article by Anita Panait, on August 2, 2013

Hyundai has reached a milestone in the United States after selling its one-millionth Santa Fe in the country. The South Korean carmaker introduced the Hyundai Santa Fe crossover to the US market in 2000, and 13 years later ,the vehicle’s continued popularity has led to its one-millionth sale. In the first half of 2013 alone, Hyundai posted over 40-percent gain in retail sales of the Santa Fe in the US.

John Krafcik, president and chief executive of Hyundai Motor America, remarked that when they launched the 2001 Santa Fe in the US 13 years ago, it was the carmaker’s first SUV and was one of the first compact crossovers on the market, with the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CRV being ahead.

He quipped that launching the Santa Fe was “a bold move that paid off” and helped position Hyundai as a brand that could bring innovations in design and package as well as value and warranty. Before the introduction of the Santa Fe in the US, Hyundai was known primarily for offering inexpensive compact cars.

With the arrival of Santa Fe in 2000, consumer perception on Hyundai changed, as it attracted an entirely new group of buyers and offered them a new option in the small crossover class.

With its unique design, good equipment level and high quality, the Hyundai Santa Fe eventually etched a name as among the best-selling crossovers in the industry. Hyundai is now offering two variants of the Santa Fe, depending on the wheelbase.

Consumers could choose between the two-row Santa Fe Sport and the long wheelbase three-row Santa Fe. Krafcik remarked that the Santa Fe has “played a significant role” in Hyundai’s success and growth in the US, noting that the vehicle was the entry point of many Hyundai owners to the brand.

Santa Fe Sport and three-row Santa Fe have been engineered together by Hyundai designers, with the signature contrasting element being the side view daylight opening (side window shape). The bigger Hyundai Santa Fe presents a shape that accentuates the expanded passenger and cargo room behind the third-row seat. Hyundai Santa Fe also has its own defined bodyside character lines from the B-pillar back, 18-inch Euroflange allow wheels, chrome-tipped dual exhaust, grille design, and a flush-mounted tow hitch design.

Both Santa Fe trims display the same flowing interior feel, specifically-designed for passenger functionality and comfortability. From the available heated rear seats and eight-way power driver seat with four-way lumbar support, to a standard 40:20:40 folding rear seat back, both Santa Fe models exude versatility and a customer-friendly cabin for all. As standard on all Hyundai Santa Fe furnished with cloth seats, and new for 2013, a ‘YES Essentials’ seat fabric treatment is offered that is soil-resistant, anti-odor, and contains anti-static properties for a longer life-shelf.

Exceptional care and meticulous work went into other interior details, such as an optional panoramic sunroof, which permits for more natural light into the cabin and rear side window sunshades. A push-button starter with proximity key, Electroluminescent Gauge Cluster (EGC) with color LCD trip computer and a heated steering wheel is available on Santa Fe models.

Press Release


Since the moment it rocked the automotive world at its introduction in September 2000, Hyundai's Santa Fe has been a powerful player in the crossover segment. That momentum continues, with two all-new models leading the charge to a retail sales growth rate exceeding 40 percent through June, highlighted today by the sale of the one millionth Santa Fe in the United States.

"When the 2001 Santa Fe launched in the United States 13 years ago, not only was it Hyundai's first SUV, but it was one of the first compact crossovers on the market – just behind Toyota RAV4 and Honda CRV," said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. "It was a bold move that paid off and helped position Hyundai as a brand that could innovate in design and package, not just value and warranty."

Prior to Santa Fe's arrival in the U.S., Hyundai was known primarily for building inexpensive compact cars. Santa Fe opened doors to an entire new group of car buyers and offered them a new choice in the small crossover class. Entering the market with distinctive design, great equipment and backed by industry leading quality, Santa Fe soon became one of the best-selling crossovers in the industry.

Fast forward to today, and the third-generation Santa Fe continues this trail-blazing narrative as the first U.S.-market crossover with a two-wheelbase strategy – the two-row, five-passenger Santa Fe Sport and the long wheelbase three-row, six/seven passenger Santa Fe – offering Hyundai buyers vehicle choices they can grow with through various life stages (pre-family, family, post family).

"Santa Fe has played a significant role in Hyundai's success and growth in the United States," Krafcik adds. "For many loyal Hyundai owners today, it was their entry point to the brand."

The Santa Fe is an award winner and has been right from the start. From being top-rated in the 2001 Vehicle Satisfaction Index from Auto Pacific, the first time a Korean brand vehicle lead in a satisfaction category, to being named in U.S. News and World Report the "Best 3-Row Midsize SUV" and "2013 Best Car for the Money."

Santa Fe has deep American roots with assembly today taking place in West Point, Georgia, where the majority of Santa Fes are now produced. Previously, Santa Fe was built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing in Montgomery, Alabama, where today Sonata and Elantra are built. This year, Hyundai will make nearly 500,000 vehicles in the U.S., and sell over 700,000 vehicles here, a remarkably high ratio of U.S. production to U.S. sales. For a historical look at Santa Fe, please visit

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