Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup Aiming for 2018 Introduction

A decision on the Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck has been made.

Expected to be made official at this year’s L.A. Auto Show or next year’s Detroit Auto Show, Motor Trend reports that Hyundai is moving forward with the Santa Cruz pickup and it will share its platform with the Tucson compact crossover. “We have made the decision,” said president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, Dave Zuchowski. “We have not made the announcement.” The company however is moving forward with the lifestyle pickup that will contend with the Honda Ridgeline, and the production model could even offer a diesel variant. Hyundai is currently developing a four-cylinder diesel to be used on its Genesis luxury brand in Europe, and that engine could find a home in the new Santa Cruz as well as the Santa Fe.

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That means the Hyundai Santa Cruz will likely be introduced in 2018 as a 2019 model, and it will be priced competitively around $25,000. According to Zuchowski, he hoped an announcement could have been made earlier this year, when the automaker shared that it was expanding production at its plant in Montgomery, Alabama to add the Santa Fe Sport. “It would have been a good time to announce another truck to show we’re correcting our adverse mix,” he said.

Hyundai hasn’t decided where it will produce the Santa Cruz, but the Montgomery plant is a candidate. Other options include Kia’s new plant in Mexico, or in Korea with the phasing out of the 25-percent “chicken tax” by 2021.

[Source: Motor Trend]

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