Long-Awaited Hyundai Pickup Truck Is Coming “Soon” As US-Built Model

Every since Hyundai unveiled the Santa Cruz Concept pickup (pictured) in 2015 there has been endless speculation about when the Korean automaker would launch the production version.

That time is coming soon, apparently, and it will target buyers who are not traditional truck owners. That’s not really surprising, given the Santa Cruz Concept’s unusual and fresh approach.

The study that debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show was a crossover-type five-seat vehicle featuring a 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine and a tailgate with a sliding extension.

Speaking with Bloomberg, Hyundai USA vice president of product, corporate and digital planning, Michael O’Brien, said the carmaker expects to enter the U.S. pickup market soon with a North American-made model.

“It’ll be a very versatile vehicle. That has the promise of creating a whole new class of buyers,” O’Brien said. While he wouldn’t reveal information about the pickup’s release date and its specifications, the executive did offer some strong clues that it will be produced in the United States.

“It would have to be made in North America,” he said, without naming a specific country. However, he noted that automakers which decided to build new vehicles in Mexico have drawn the wrath of U.S. President Donald Trump. Hyundai probably doesn’t want that.

Building the new truck in the U.S. would be a logical choice too as the majority of the pickup trucks will be sold there anyway. The carmaker would need to produce the new truck in North America to avoid the so-called “Chicken Tax,” a 25-percent tariff on imported trucks.

Also Read: VW Tarok Pickup Appears Destined For America, Tanoak Seems Less Likely

Hyundai already builds the Elantra and Sonata sedans and the Santa Fe crossover at its plant in Montgomery, Alabama. The facility has an annual output of around 400,000 vehicles a year.

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  • ctk4949

    That nice looking concept looks production ready, just change the headlights, exhaust, and the wheels. Good to go!!

  • Felipe Politano

    It’s probably going to be sized along the likes of the VW Tarok (also rumored for the US market) and the Fiat Toro (which could be sold with a Ram badge). That would make a very interesting new segment – and a very competitive one right out the gate.

  • Six_Tymes

    Can you imagine if they made it EXACTLY like this concept? If they did (which will never happen) it would out sell every brand on the market.

    • bd0007

      Already stated that changed the design some to keep in line w/ Hyundai’s current design language, but let’s hope they kept the good elements intact.

      The reason for the delay is that the Santa Cruz will share its chassis w/ the next gen Elantra and Tucson, so had to wait til the new platform was ready (also why was always going to be built at the Alabama plant).

    • Galaxium

      From what I understand, they had to update the design to be more in-line with their current design language, since the Santa Cruz concept was using Hyundai’s older design.

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