Hyundai just announced that the Santa Cruz pickup is making its way to the United States. According to the South Korean automaker, production for the model will begin in 2021 at the company’s plant in Montgomery, Alabama.
“Bringing the Santa Cruz to HMMA demonstrates that Hyundai Motor Company is confident our more than 3,000 Team Members are ready to build a quality crossover for the U.S. market,” said Byungjin Jin, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.
The truck, being referred to as a compact utility vehicle by Hyundai, is among the brand’s much-anticipated models due for release in the coming model years. But aside from the timeframe and location, nothing is known about the Santa Cruz, especially how it is going to look like.
The Santa Cruz concept was first introduced in 2015 when Hyundai unveiled the model at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Aside from an early 2019 report claiming that the production model will have a significantly different look, eager consumers and insiders do not have anything else to go on with but renderings and speculations.
A separate report states that the pickup will not be getting a unibody design but will instead be built on a ladder-frame chassis like other full-size pickup trucks manufactured in Detroit. This highly suggests that a four-wheel-drive setup could possibly be on the way as well, along with various cab formats. These rumors are mostly coming from statements of Hyundai officials, but they remain unconfirmed at this point.
As production for the Hyundai Santa Cruz is due to begin in a couple of years from now, consumers can expect the company to release prototypes on the road soon. Once released, the compact pickup will be competing with the returning Ford Ranger and the 2019 Jeep Gladiator, among others.