Four years have passed since Hyundai drew everyone’s attention when it unveiled the concept Santa Cruz pickup truck at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. But aside from saying they will build the model and will include it in the lineup, the company has not made a peep on whether it has already gone into production.
While the full-size pickup truck segment in the United States is getting more and more crowded, it’s the opposite for compact pickup trucks. Although the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado are currently making a name for themselves in the industry, both models are still pretty large to be considered a compact truck.
In a recent interview, Mike O’Brien, Hyundai Vice President for Product, Corporate, and Digital Planning shared a few details on the company’s upcoming pickup.
“It’ll be a versatile vehicle that has the promise of creating a whole new class of buyers,” he said.
With the new pickup truck, Hyundai is targeting young buyers in cities where larger pickup trucks do not seem to be an option due to tight parking spaces. The company is also expected to use a crossover platform rather than the body-on-frame design common in most trucks so as not to steal customers who are loyal to full-size trucks. This supports Hyundai’s plans to attract a new segment of buyers.
O’Brien also confirmed that Hyundai is planning to build the new truck model in North America once it decides to start production. This helps the automaker avoid the 25% tariff imposed on imported trucks as well as potential “political controversy” should it decide to assemble the model in Mexico.
Insiders are looking at the possibility of the upcoming pickup truck riding on the same platform as the next-gen Tucson compact crossover and using the name ‘Pavise,’ which Hyundai recently trademarked. But so far, the company has not released information on when the highly anticipated pickup truck will be released. For now, consumers would have to content themselves with the Tacoma, Colorado, or perhaps the Honda Ridgeline.