During the North American International Auto Show at Detroit in 2015, Hyundai introduced a concept pickup truck they named the Santa Cruz. This model took home the Concept Truck of the Year recognition later that year from the North American Concept Vehicle Awards. It had grabbed the attention of a lot of people who simply loved it. Though Hyundai was planning to bring it to the production line, they seemed hesitant launching it in the United States.
The Santa Cruz concept was targeted at a younger market with more active lifestyles. These comprise the so called “urban adventurers” who don’t need or want the compromises that come with large trucks.
Two years later, it seems that Hyundai has warmed up to the United States according to Reuters. Having said that, it looks like the company is going to launch a pickup in the US, this statement was confirmed by Michael J. O'Brien, the company's Vice President of Corporate and Product Planning in the US. Though the truck may not exactly be the production model of the Santa Cruz, it will be a very similar to the model. It is not definite when the company will launch the pickup truck as they have not said anything about it yet. However, we do know that updated versions of the Santa Fe SUV will come out within the next two years. The SUV will then be followed by a 2020 model year for the Tucson.
Sources say that the new pickup will most likely be based on the Tucson compact crossover, whether or not it’s the Santa Cruz. If the pickup will be launched together with the Tucson, expect it to come out sometime in 2019, but it’s likely to go on sale in 2018 as a 2019 model year, as reported before. So far, we have not heard anything regarding the powertrain specifics and pricing as well.
Hyundai dealers in the United States should be pleased when the pickup truck goes on sale there, alongside the new Tucson and Santa Fe. This year, Hyundai’s performance actually fell, with sales dropping by 11 percent. Though many automakers suffered a decrease in sales across the country, averaging in a 3 percent drop, Hyundai’s sales are much worse as it dropped almost four times more.
As we try to analyze the company’s performance, it seems like this was caused by the fact that they focused on sedans. For the past few years, customers have been shifting to crossovers, SUVs, and pickup trucks instead, and Hyundai had not followed this trend. Let us hope that by introducing the new pickup and the upgraded SUV to the market, sales will pick up considerably.