Hyundai looks poised to get into the pickup market, according to the latest report from Automotive News. The Korean automaker revealed the Santa Cruz concept at the Detroit Auto Show this past January, previewing a vehicle that combines the best attributes of a pickup truck with those of a small crossover – sort of like a Honda Ridgeline, but smaller.
It’s an idea whose time has come, says Hyundai’s US chief Dave Zuchowski. “We’re assuming that it’s going to get done,” he told AN. “It’s just not officially done yet.” He expects it to be approved sometime within the next decade, and when it does enter production, Zuchowski said it could emerge as the first diesel-powered Hyundai offered in America.
The biggest challenge, however, may not lie in convincing the head office in Seoul to give it the green light. The company’s plant in Montgomery, AL, is strained enough producing the Sonata, Elantra and Santa Fe. In order to produce the pickup as well, Hyundai would need to either expand the current plant or build a new one.
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