Hyundai Large Crossover Might Return in Future: CEO

Hyundai Large Crossover Might Return in Future: CEO

Despite plans for the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe to replace the Veracruz, Hyundai North America CEO John Krafcik is confirming that there might still be a large crossover in the company’s future. 

At its outset, the Veracruz was intended to sell as an upmarket crossover for the brand at an intended 50,000 units a year. It never achieved that figure, though, and now the three-row CUV is being sent to the glue factory in favor of the more popular Santa Fe.

“I would say stay tuned for future details on a potential premium crossover,” Krafcik told Wards Auto. While that offers little more than the vague notion that sometime, somehow, the company might resurrect its entry to that market segment.

While the long wheelbase Santa Fe is meant to stand in the Veracruz’ place to an extent, it will be far from a replacement. Hyundai plans to offer three wheelbases in the upcoming model year (sport, standard and long), which will offer a degree of product differentiation, but won’t completely fill the gap.

Its longer version will stretch 3.9 inches farther than the standard version, but still won’t offer the same seating capacity as the Veracruz, which is probably why Hyundai hasn’t dismissed the idea of a future revisitation. When that happens, the vehicle might likely run on the same platform as Hyundai’s Genesis and Equus sedans.

That still leaves one gaping problem: the Veracruz was meant to sell as an upmarket crossover, but that didn’t go so well. Doesn’t that suggest a new utility vehicle based on the brand’s current luxury cars might struggle in the same way? Maybe not.

It’s true that the Equus fails an apples-to-apples sales comparison with the BMW 7 Series, but as Krafcik was quick to point out to us in a recent conversation, its sales are improving year over year. While Hyundai might not be positioned to put a luxury SUV competitor in the market just yet, the platform is there.

It’s hard to look past the positive recognition the once-lowly brand has been enjoying and if it continues in that direction it just might have the name to market a Genesis or Equus-based larger people carrier.