Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup Confirmed For US, Will Be Built In Alabama23
The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon will soon have another small pickup to compete with in North America. This new rival won’t come from Ram or another established truck maker, but rather Korean automotive behemoth Hyundai.
Hyundai confirmed this week that the Santa Cruz compact pickup will go on sale in the U.S. for the 2021 model year and will be built at its large Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama complex in Montgomery.
While the Santa Cruz may manage to steal a few customers away from the Colorado and Canyon, it probably won’t be intended for the same type of customer. The Colorado and Canyon are midsize, body-on-frame pickups, but the Santa Cruz will be quite a bit smaller and will be unibody like a crossover. In other words, it will essentially be a crossover with a bed – which may actually be rather appealing among the “lifestyle” crowd that so many crossovers are marketed toward these days. In fact, Hyundai’s press release doesn’t even refer to it as a pickup truck, but rather a crossover.
“Santa Cruz is for those who want all the traditional attributes of a compact utility vehicle, but need the day-to-day versatility of an open bed,” the company said. “It’s the crossover that creates a whole new segment that successfully combines capability and utility to meet the unspoken needs of a new generation of buyers, especially Millennials.”
The addition of the Santa Cruz also represents a solid investment in the South Korea brand’s American infrastructure and workforce. The HMMA complex will require a $410-million expansion in order to build the Santa Cruz, which will go toward the addition of new stamping, welding and parts processing areas. It will also add 200 jobs directly at the plant and another 1,000 or so with parts suppliers around the Montgomery region.
The Santa Cruz will likely be equipped with a four-cylinder engine and standard front-wheel drive, with an optional all-wheel drivetrain. It is also expected to be based on the same platform as the Hyundai Tucson crossover.
As we reported previously, GM is currently working on its own new compact unibody pickup truck in the way of the next-generation Chevrolet Montana, which will launch sometime next year. The new pickup will ride on the GEM platform, which stands for Global Emerging Markets, and will have front-wheel drive and a four-cylinder engine. It won’t be sold in North America, with the model being developed for South American markets only (hence the GEM platform).
If the Santa Cruz is a major success for Hyundai, we wouldn’t be shocked to see GM and Ford make their own competing models. At the same time, though, both GM and Ford may risk pulling customers away from their established Colorado/Canyon and Ranger lineups, which would likely be more profitable than a compact pickup like the Santa Cruz.
Subscribe to GM Authority for the latest GM competition news, Chevrolet news and ongoing GM news coverage.
- Sweepstakes Of The Month: Win a 2023 Corvette Z06 Convertible. Details here.
I think Hyundyis approaching this vehicle properly, classifying it more as a crossover lifestyle vehicle than a truck. Honda may have had more success with the Ridgeline had they done the same
Honda’s Ridgeline also wasn’t supper competitive. Old styling, poor truck performance. It was what is was, yesterday’s crossover with a bed. That was it’s downfall. If it had new looks, sharp like the new traverse or explorer, and offered a mpg advantage over the Colorado than it would have sold better
This would be an excellent EV candidate, a real “Joule”. 4WD & regeneration ?
The first thing that comes to mind when seeing the Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck is what a pickup truck based on 2019 Chevrolet Blazer might look like and whether there would be any interest in such a vehicle.
there is an “unspoken need” lol. I don’t think there is much demand for such a vehicle. I think the Blazer would be too large to try this with. Prehaps the equinox might be a better platform for such a project. Or just don’t waste the time and money on such a niche segment.
This is an appealing package in styling but it will need 4 doors for better volume.
The industry is watching and you can be sure GM and Ford have packages ready to move on if the market looks like it is ready for a smaller than mid size truck.
The Honda took off but now has sputtered.
Bring back the S10! The only choices right now are too large for some people and their needs.
Yes – the new trucks are too big… The S-10 was a great truck..
I would even like to see GM bring back a new 21st version of the old Chevy L.U.V. Truck..
Light Utility Vehicle for those who are too young to remember. A small truck that needed a few improvements, but the concept was good – I believe that is where the S-10 and GMC’s S-15 came from…
GM needs a LOT of help and those “Morons” in Detroit need to talk to their customer base..
Nt worry but they should keep an eye on em.
I’d imagine maybe a Camaro pick-up or call a Camaro based trucklet Camino. Why not?, Mustang name just got slapped on a electric CUV.
Obviously, GM will have the Camaro E28 to counter the new “Mustang”. 🙂
For clarification did you mean GMC Canyon in the first sentence???
I’m really disappointed with the name “Mustang Mach-E”. First, Mach-E doesn’t roll of the tongue and comes across as Mockey and now they incorporated Mustang in the name too? There is nothing Mustang about it except some styling cues. It will be interesting to see how this plays out with consumers.
If Mach-E doesn’t roll off the tongue you’ll be less happy to hear one of the trim levels is “California Route 1” lol
“Hey man, sweet ride that the new Mustang Mach-E California Route 1?”
Mitsubishi did the same thing with the lancer and eclipse they are now cross over vehicles I don’t think it’s working out for them
Like the look but not a fan of fwd on a “truck”. Interested in size compared to an S10. I had a Sonoma Sport 3-door and still miss that ZQ8 suspension. Was perfect size for needs.
Kia & Hyundai are made here in the good ‘ole USA but the procedes go to Korea (so I’ve been told), So if this is true,no thanks!
GM had the perfect vehicle in 2008 when Lutz was about to import the Monara Ute from Oz. A new El Camino. Pontiac folded and they were literally dumped in Arabia. Just mote stupidity. I owned a 2006 GTO , one of the best cars ever. Sold it last year for 25K CDN. still gorgeous. For GM , that horse has left the barn.Ill go with Hyundai if it has a V6.
Looks nice to me, put a big motor in it and it will sell.
I drove El Caminos for 15 years and would still be driving them today if they still made them. The El Camino was based on the Malibu frame. I want a small, nimble, light hauler for gas cans, trash and light hauling. I cuss every time I get in my Colorado. It’s more truck than I need or want. If the new VW truck or Hyundai truck has power and nice equipment, I’ll drop the Colorado like a hot rock and never look back. Same thing can be said for an S10 or Sonoma, I’d love another Sonoma GT or Cyclone.
Gm should bring back the El Camino
The AWD Santa Cruz looks great! If they ever make a long-range EV version I am in.