The rumors continue to swirl around Hyundai’s future product plans as Hyundai USA CEO David Zuchowski revealed the Santa Cruz pickup is close to getting the green light for production.

The only kicker is approval must come from Hyundai’s South Korean headquarters.

However, Zuchowski is confident the project will get approved, as he told The Detroit Bureau during the rollout of the Sonata Hybrid, “There is a very high probability we get the approval of the truck very soon.”

The Santa Cruz concept made its debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show back in January, and caused quite a stir. The truck takes a very different approach to styling and functionality than the more traditional midsized pickups like the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma. Hyundai says the truck targets millennial “Urban Adventurers” who lead active lifestyles and are looking for a vehicle that supports that living. The Santa Cruz’s bed offers space to carry dirty sports equipment or sweaty clothes not otherwise welcomed in the sedan or crossover.

Zuchowski says more than 90 percent of potential buyers the automaker surveyed has like the Santa Cruz concept. “It’s proven very popular,” he concluded.

What’s more, Zuchowski mentioned his team is also considering a subcompact crossover to compete against the Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax, and Jeep Renegade. “This is a growth segment,” The CEO said. “We want a piece of it.” Again, approval would be needed from South Korea, but the possibilities for production are just as promising as the Santa Cruz.

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Why it Matters

With the midsize truck market experiencing a resurgence in popularity, it seems everybody is wanting in on the action. Hyundai’s Santa Cruz might not be the most conventional design, but like the Honda Ridgeline, it will likely appeal to a less rugged type of truck buyer.

Also rapidly expanding is the subcompact crossover segment. Jeep’s new and funky Renegade, along with Chevy’s new Trax, has given the segment some competitive players. Hyundai has a record of building quality compact cars that sell well, so a crossover version should do just fine.

Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept

Hyundai Reportedly Close To Approving Santa Cruz Pickup For Production High Resolution Exterior
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Source: The Detroit Bureau

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read More
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