The Hyundai Santa Cruz is the first "crossover truck" that I have heard of. Given that crossovers are so popular right now, it seems like a smart play to create a truck that also fits in with the crossover category. Hyundai has done extensive market research that has caused them to rethink the truck. They have developed the Santa Cruz to appeal to millenials, who are currently not interested in a slate of truck options that just don't play to their needs.
Hyundai has done serious research -- they said it's one of the most researched vehicles they've ever created -- and firmly believes there's a market for this among millennials.
To give some more detail as to the context of the truck market and how millenials relate to it, consider these statistics:
- Only 7 percent of vehicle shoppers under 30 buy trucks.
- 80 percent of all vehicle shoppers don't even consider today's trucks.
- The truck market has fallen 5 percent in the last five years.
Most people, even those who do buy trucks, don't ever need to use the full capability of a truck. That means that trucks are generally over-capable, and over-priced. The average full-size truck in 2013 was close to $40,000.
That is far from entry-level.
So Hyundai took all this into consideration when designing the Santa Cruz. It is capable of hauling things like furniture, hockey gear, and mountain bikes, but not a dozen bales of hay or a tractor. It has fuel economy that should measure in the high 30 in terms of mpg. It's starting price will be far below the average $40,000 cost of a full-size pickup truck.
Hyundai has rethought the truck. It has eliminated size, capability and cost just for the sake of it, and has refocused on affordability, capability that is based in reality, and a compact size that can appeal to urban dwellers (who are usually younger), and not just rural people.
Is this what appeals to you about the Santa Cruz? Has Hyundai hit the nail on the head?
Hyundai Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept First Look