If dealers charge over the sticker price, it will mean FAILURE of this model. Price it right, ensure dealer support, be honest and straightforward and it might compete with Honda and Subaru. Otherwise.....
MSRP = Manufacture's Suggested Retail Price... notice the word "suggested". Dealers will sell the vehicle at whatever price customers are willing to pay. Thus in the beginning (when supply is low) I fully expect some dealers to charge over sticker looking to take advantage of consumers that can't control themselves and just buy the newest shiny thing on the lot. However at the same time many dealers will happily sell at MSRP or even under to get more orders and move metal, gaining profit by playing the volume game, well provided they can get units from the factory.
Now if the MSRP is too high then yes the vehicle will have trouble in the market place. It must be competitively priced. Hyundai is known as a "value brand" that normally under cuts others, especially Japanese ones like Honda, Toyota and Subaru. The problem is what is the competition? Currently nobody really sells anything like this UTE / SAV. Since its a version of the Tuscon I assume the SC will have similar pricing, with maybe a slight premium because it has added versatility.
I imagine there is quite a bit of nail-biting going on as they try to get this product launch right, especially coming off a year-and-a-half of such unprecedended 'wierdness.'
Will this little niche 'trucklette' market actually turn into a hidden goldmine? They cannot delay launch, because the Maverick may be biting that same apple. The temptation to bump the price will be enormous, given the current frantic meltdown in the truck 'em up market.
Careers are in the balance here, so maybe they'll go low just to assure an initial buyer acceptance.
Perhaps the lack of any visible movement by Hyundai means they are still deciding if they want to back out of this particular crazy market. Or, perhaps it is to build suspense/interest among us potential customers.
I'm okay as long as they price this within $1k difference of the Tucson equivalent trims, I'd try to haggle at launch if i can get about 4% off MSRP, at most I'll pay MSRP. If they won't budge, then I'll get my $100 deposit back