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Discussion Starter #1
All this talk of a smaller, more CUV-like pickup may ignore the obvious -- it's already been done before by Honda with the Ridgeline.


Before the Ridgeline entered production, I remember reading articles about how Honda execs were confident the Ridgeline would revolutionize the pickup market. It tested very well in focus groups -- people loved the idea of a more car-like pickup. But when push comes to shove, in the real world, people end up buying a crossover like the Honda Pilot and not a Ridgeline.


It's almost a perfect example of how people in focus groups love to dream about what they might do...but they end up actually doing something else.


How will the Santa Cruz be any different? Let's have a discussion here. Are Hyundai execs unwisely disregarding the failure of the Ridgeline?


Hyundai very much wants a piece of the highly profitable North American truck segment, but I'm becoming more and more convinced that Hyundai would be better off making a product like the Toyota Tacoma or Chevy Colorado, rather than something like the Ridgeline.


Thoughts everyone?


 

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After seeing other car makers also get on board with this idea, it seemed like now is a good time for a vehicle like this, Mercedes being one of them.
 

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The Ridgeline failed because it tried to compete with well established pickups and attract buyers of those trucks. It offered no advantages in capability or fuel efficiency, and it was not very attractive.

The SC is different in that it is not competing with larger pickups, it will actually offer very good fuel economy, and has attractive styling. Traditional pickup buyers are not the target market. Hyundai is looking to attract CUV and sedan buyers that want pickup versatility without the downsides of a midsize or fullsize truck - large size, poor mpg, etc.


FYI, the Mercedes truck keeps coming up but it is nothing like the SC. It will be a body-on-frame midsize pickup truck the size of the Colorado or Tacoma. Outside of the US, there are no fullsize trucks, and no luxury pickup trucks even on the level of something like a Platinum F150, GMC Denali, etc. Mercedes is looking to embark on the overseas higher end pickup market - something that currently does not exist. No decision has been made to bring the truck to the US market, and honestly I don't think they will. Since it will be based on an overseas Nissan, it will not perform anywhere near the level expected from a Mercedes sold in the US.
 

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The Ridgeline was a little strange. It had poor styling and was never going to win out over the other vehicles already in the pick-up truck segment. I do agree that the SC has a different aim.

You are also probably right about the Mercedes truck being focused outside of NA instead of being made for the NA truck market.
 

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Ridgeline was also easily a $30k truck, and that's what it started out at. So at that price you can see how someone would rather get a "real" truck.

The Santa Cruz SEEMS to be positioned better for better volume.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Ridgeline failed because it tried to compete with well established pickups and attract buyers of those trucks. It offered no advantages in capability or fuel efficiency, and it was not very attractive.

The SC is different in that it is not competing with larger pickups, it will actually offer very good fuel economy, and has attractive styling. Traditional pickup buyers are not the target market. Hyundai is looking to attract CUV and sedan buyers that want pickup versatility without the downsides of a midsize or fullsize truck - large size, poor mpg, etc.
Your post adds good points, but it needs to be reiterated that Honda envisioned non-truck buyers coming to Honda dealers and picking out the Ridgeline. Non-truck buyers were to be a major pillar of the Ridgeline's business, and those buyers did not appear. I'm concerned Hyundai may fall victim in similar fashion. People say one thing when they see the concept in a focus group setting, and quite another when the actual vehicle is in front of them, with papers ready to be signed at the local dealer.

Of course, I agree that the Ridgeline was not attractive, and that must have played a part in its failure.

Ridgeline was also easily a $30k truck, and that's what it started out at. So at that price you can see how someone would rather get a "real" truck.

The Santa Cruz SEEMS to be positioned better for better volume.
Price WILL definitely be key. Santa Cruz needs to be around that $20k price point.
 

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There is a big difference between focus groups saying, "yea i would buy this vehicle," and people actually going out to buy the vehicle. I think that the Santa Cruz has a better chance of bringing in those non-truck buyers though. I don't think it will fall prey to that trap.
 

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There is a big difference between focus groups saying, "yea i would buy this vehicle," and people actually going out to buy the vehicle. I think that the Santa Cruz has a better chance of bringing in those non-truck buyers though. I don't think it will fall prey to that trap.
It's much like what you see on forums when it comes to folks saying they're going to buy something, come time to actually buy the **** thing, 1% pull through.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's much like what you see on forums when it comes to folks saying they're going to buy something, come time to actually buy the **** thing, 1% pull through.
Exactly...that said, I'm with everyone here, hoping Hyundai develops the Santa Cruz into a real product. I'll put my money where my mouth is.
 

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Your post adds good points, but it needs to be reiterated that Honda envisioned non-truck buyers coming to Honda dealers and picking out the Ridgeline. Non-truck buyers were to be a major pillar of the Ridgeline's business, and those buyers did not appear. I'm concerned Hyundai may fall victim in similar fashion. People say one thing when they see the concept in a focus group setting, and quite another when the actual vehicle is in front of them, with papers ready to be signed at the local dealer.

Of course, I agree that the Ridgeline was not attractive, and that must have played a part in its failure.



Price WILL definitely be key. Santa Cruz needs to be around that $20k price point.
why so low?



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Exactly...that said, I'm with everyone here, hoping Hyundai develops the Santa Cruz into a real product. I'll put my money where my mouth is.
Chances of it happening seem to be growing with more car makers seeing the soundness of this product and that sure says something powerful.
 

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Your post adds good points, but it needs to be reiterated that Honda envisioned non-truck buyers coming to Honda dealers and picking out the Ridgeline. Non-truck buyers were to be a major pillar of the Ridgeline's business, and those buyers did not appear. I'm concerned Hyundai may fall victim in similar fashion. People say one thing when they see the concept in a focus group setting, and quite another when the actual vehicle is in front of them, with papers ready to be signed at the local dealer.

Of course, I agree that the Ridgeline was not attractive, and that must have played a part in its failure.



Price WILL definitely be key. Santa Cruz needs to be around that $20k price point.
$20k seems slightly low to me. I would expect a little bit higher than that. Not much, just a few thousand. I am think more around the $22-$23.5k mark.
 

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$20k seems slightly low to me. I would expect a little bit higher than that. Not much, just a few thousand. I am think more around the $22-$23.5k mark.
Why would you expect it to be higher than what he said it "needs" to be at? Just curious.
 

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Could the positioning be exactly whats holding up the announcement of SAnta Cruz production? Its known HQ wants this thing to exist, It's known that there are corners of the internet that want it built yesterday, but then obversely its also known that anything other then a tradtional truck from traditional manufacturers has had a tough slog in this market no matter how innovative or excellent the product is...



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Could the positioning be exactly whats holding up the announcement of SAnta Cruz production? Its known HQ wants this thing to exist, It's known that there are corners of the internet that want it built yesterday, but then obversely its also known that anything other then a tradtional truck from traditional manufacturers has had a tough slog in this market no matter how innovative or excellent the product is...
IMO the hold-up is for two reasons:

Hyundai US wants to produce this and they are building the business case for headquarters over in Korea.

Part of moving forward with the SC is deciding how they are going to build it - something that has to happen in North America. If its built here, then it also makes sense that its built along side the Tucson. They don't have any more capacity to add production, so its going to require an expansion or new factory. To expand or build a new factory, and move Tucson production to the US will require MAJOR investment and planning. This is probably the biggest issue they are having to mull over - much bigger than just deciding to build the SC not.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
IMO the hold-up is for two reasons:

Hyundai US wants to produce this and they are building the business case for headquarters over in Korea.

Part of moving forward with the SC is deciding how they are going to build it - something that has to happen in North America. If its built here, then it also makes sense that its built along side the Tucson. They don't have any more capacity to add production, so its going to require an expansion or new factory. To expand or build a new factory, and move Tucson production to the US will require MAJOR investment and planning. This is probably the biggest issue they are having to mull over - much bigger than just deciding to build the SC not.
Excellent points for thought. Post of the day IMO.
 

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The reason the Ridgeline failed is because it was a ugly truck. The designer that designed the bed section had a hangover the day he drew the design. Nothing matched, with the Santa Cruz everything flows.
 
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