Hyundai Will Have Something brand-new in Chicago, however Not the Santa Cruz
Hyundai North America will debut a brand-new car or truck next month, Mike O’Brien, the company’s vice president of corporate as well as product planning, told Car as well as Driver at the Detroit auto show. “We will be launching a brand-new vehicle [at the February auto show] in Chicago,” O’Brien said, however he declined to give details on the forthcoming product.
He did, however, quash our hopes in which the item could be a production variation of the Santa Cruz concept, a well-known mid-size pickup the Korean automaker unveiled two years ago in Detroit. “the item’s not the Santa Cruz,” O’Brien said. “Hopefully we’ll have something to share with you soon on in which.”
Some kind of truck or utility vehicle could help Hyundai’s product portfolio, as well as Chicago has been known as a place where automakers reveal larger vehicles. Press preview days for the Chicago auto show are February 9 as well as 10.
A Daily Headache
Hyundai’s U.S. brand-new-vehicle sales grew for a seventh straight year in 2016, edging up 2 percent at 775,005 units. Like some other automakers, though, Hyundai saw waning interest in its mainstream car versions such as the Elantra as well as the Sonata. Among the automaker’s cars, the only ones to post increases in 2016 were the Accent subcompact (up 30 percent to 79,766 units) as well as the oddball Veloster (up 24 percent to 30,053). Among the SUVs, the Santa Fe posted an 11 percent increase, to 131,257 units, while sales of the Tucson grew 41 percent, to 89,713 units.
So there’s much potential for growth when the item comes to Hyundai’s trucks.
“in which’s my daily headache,” O’Brien said. The company simply does not hold the production capacity. “We could increase sales of our Tucson dramatically if we had more production. We could increase our Santa Fe Sport volume significantly with some more production. We could increase our long-wheelbase, three-row Santa Fe significantly . . . with more production,” he said. “So, for us, the item’s all about the steps the item takes to get in which extra production as well as investment in place.”
the item’s not such an easy task, when considering generational commitments of the entire product line, he added.
Still “Excited” for the Santa Cruz
Meanwhile, the company is usually still “excited” about the potential for the Santa Cruz, O’Brien said. “We’re working very hard on the project,” he said. “We’re working as hard as we can to make the item happen.”
O’Brien made the item clear in which the Santa Cruz is usually not a 100 percent certainty. “however the item makes all the sense inside entire world for us, for a lot of reasons,” he said, including the lack of a pickup truck on the market in which can achieve 30-plus miles per gallon.
O’Brien said a trend of millennials gravitating toward urban centers also argues in favor of the Santa Cruz. He envisions young professionals spending their weeks at office jobs inside city as well as then throwing kayaks or bikes inside back of a compact truck for a weekend rendezvous with Mother Nature. “They don’t need 7000 pounds’ worth of towing. They don’t need a big vehicle in which’s difficult to maneuver as well as park,” he said.
Even inside truck-happy United States, gas-sipping mid-size pickups are still an anomaly, as well as Hyundai wants to get the Santa Cruz right. “which has a truck, the item’s all about proportion,” O’Brien said, noting in which deriving one via a car platform can result in odd styling. Hyundai clearly considers the Santa Cruz to be more like a car than a full-size pickup as well as seems to shy away via the idea of the concept even being considered a pickup inside traditional sense.
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The design seen two years ago is usually still intact, said O’Brien, who is usually part of Hyundai’s global design committee. “as well as, still, in which design is usually what resonates with our company as well as [Chung Eui-sun], our vice chairman,” O’Brien said. “He wants in which car.”