Hyundai is hard at work developing a midsize pickup truck for specific markets which will be followed by a Kia equivalent.
Hyundai introduced the Santa Cruz pickup concept nearly four years ago at NAIAS Detroit, yet still has not taken visible steps towards making the concept a production reality. More recently, Luc Donckerwolke, Hyundai’s head of design confirmed that a production version is indeed under development. He added that the design component has been finalized and the process to put the pickup in production is currently underway. Declining to give an exact timetable on the truck’s launch, Donckerwolke hinted at a late-2020 arrival.
At this point, it is unclear whether Hyundai will retain the Santa Cruz name for the production model. Neither is it known if the truck will go up against the F-150 or the Ranger, but there definitely is a Kia version in the works. Some rumour mills in the past had suggested that the new pickup would sit on the Tucson’s platform, while yet another article stated that it would be built alongside the crossover in the US, beginning 2021.
What we can be sure about is that Hyundai has recognised the potential for business in the competitive pickup truck segment and is gearing up to launch its own take on an offering in the same. As and when the Hyundai pickup arrives on dealer floors, it will have to contend against vehicles like the Ford Ranger, Volkswagen Amarok, and so on.
Further up the size chart, there is Ford’s F-150 to play against, plus the Chevrolet Silverado and RAM 1500 trucks. Jeep has also recently entered the fray with its robust Gladiator pickup, so the segment is getting crowded and interesting at the same time.