According to interviews with high-ranking employees within the company, Hyundai plans to make its truck soon.
Hyundai showed off its Santa Cruz concept vehicle in 2015 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It was met with a lot of optimism.
Well, now it seems that Hyundai has more information on the vehicle, including the fact that it will indeed be built.
Mike O’Brien, Hyundai’s Vice President of Product Planning, talked with CarBuzz about the new truck, giving away some details, and Luc Donckerwolke talked with Autocar about the upcoming production model.
How Alike the Concept Is it?
According to the conversation CarBuzz had with O’Brien, the Santa Cruz pickup will have many of the characteristics of the Santa Cruz concept truck.
It will be a smaller pickup truck with car-like, crossover platform used on Hyundai’s other vehicles. It will be easy to park and use in urban environments.
"“Every inch of the truck should be generating income. The bed is only one-third of the truck so two-thirds aren’t generating incoming,” O’Brien told CarBuzz."
It would make sense. People liked the concept so much for what it was: a small, urban-focused pickup. So, Hyundai shouldn’t stray too far from its concept truck’s original vision.
O’Brien told CarBuzz that the company still gets letters about the Santa Cruz daily, so it’s safe to assume that enthusiasm for the concept truck has not waned much since its auto show debut.
When Will it Come?
In all likelihood, yes. With the market trending towards trucks and SUVs, it only makes sense for Hyundai to make the most of its crossover platforms and re-purpose at least one of them—in this case, the Tucson—into a pickup truck.
Hyundai wouldn’t likely see the same kind of sales that Ford and GM do for their trucks, but it’s a good bet Hyundai could sell enough to justify making the model.
There’s also the fact that Donckerwolke said Hyundai was in the process of making the truck a reality. He told Autocar that work on the truck was complete, and now the team had to go about actually producing the model.
Donckerwolke told the publication the truck would be built, “as soon as possible.”
Autocar suggests 2020 as a prospective debut year, and that would seem about right if all the design work is done as Donckerwolke has said.
It will be interesting to see the Santa Cruz in production form. I have high hopes. Hopefully, it sells once Hyundai starts putting them on showroom floors.