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Discussion Starter #1


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
 

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Pretty much hit it on the head. I'll look at a larger truck when I'm older with more toys like an ATV but for now the Santa Cruz will be enough for my needs.
And if it's affordable with great fuel economy then all the better for millennials who doesn't have the money needed for a full sized truck.
 

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Makes sense. Even more sense when you look at what these people do and how a type of vehicle can help them do that, then there's what they want out of a vehicle, what will appeal to them or could potentially appeal to them.
 

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A few months ago I started counting trucks on the road. I counted as many as I could that were only carrying 1 or 2 passengers, and that were empty in the bed. I was gonna compare it to those trucks that were actually being utilized as "trucks". I quickly gave up. Nearly every truck I saw was NOT being used for the purposes for which it was built.
I believe in Hyundai's research and believe they have it right. The only remaining question is when can I go make my deposit???
 

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I've seen the same thing, even when it comes to the city where for those commutes a truck isn't needed, I still saw people using them and these trucks always stayed clean, never a spec of dirt or mud.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Some people just like the size. It's not about what it can do, it's about sitting high up in a really big truck that lets you look down on the rest of the cars on the road. At least that's how I have come to understand it.
 

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Yes that's part of it, another thing is trucks are at often associated as being more of a sporty product that attracts an enthusiast following, more than what the typical SUV/CUV crowd is able to pull in.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think that smaller trucks have greater potential to be seen as performance models. That's just my opinion I suppose. Large trucks for work, but small trucks for fun, performance, and adaptability.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That looks like a Pontiac ute of some kind. Not sure i have seen one of those ever. Did it ever actually exist?
 

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What's that?
That looks like a Pontiac ute of some kind. Not sure i have seen one of those ever. Did it ever actually exist?
yes, it was a ute with the g8 front end, and gm only ever showed it as a concept-- so production-wise it never existed.. but there is a place to get them from.. the conversion is supposed to be about $30k with a salvage title donor car..
Left Hand Utes USA

i found out about it when that pontiac concept was at the chicago auto show in 2008. and i've been digging for info ever since..

since the 4th gen(2004) pontiac gto, it and the g8 were both produced by gm's austrailian division-- Holden. their version is called the commodore, and they produced identical versions of the gto and g8 for the aussie market(with different badging of course) with one exception. a ute. gm makes a ute down there under the commodore namesake(they also make it for the south america market under the chevy lumina ss name, both are rhd though, so importation is more difficult), and for the concept, converted a holden to lhd, slapped a pontiac front end on it, and shipped it up here.

the concept never took off, but many of us got hooked anyways...

ford also makes a ute down there under the falcon namesake, the falcon is body-on-frame where the commodore is unibody, so the falcon is more of a workhorse where the commodore is more of a play truck.

there's also the chevy montana/tornado(market difference) or opel corsa utility-- same truck, different names for different markets..


if the santa cruz turns out to be as big as the ridgeline, i'm off to the classifieds for an old elcamino, or lefthandutes for a more modern version..
 

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The 2010 G8 Sport Truck was very much going to production - and then the bankruptcy happened in 2009 and Pontiac got the ax.

It was based on the Australian Holden Commodore Ute which is the truck version of the Commodore family which also includes a sedan and wagon. We get the sedan in the US as the Chevy SS.

 

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That sucks, one the plus side, there will be guys who want it bad enough to import one, which brings to mind Hennessey Performance... if there's any shop that will import and tune one... it will be them.
 

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Only vehicles that have been certified for use here can be registered and driven so a it can't be legally imported. (Well it could, but you have to wait until a car is 25 years old to import it). You would have to buy a Chevy SS and import the Ute body and swap the components.
 

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That sucks.
Going to be a lot of work to make that swap happen, sounds like something SEMA build worthy... too bad SEMA just passed, maybe next year? :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Only ute style vehicles except the el camino that I have heard of actually selling have been in australia.
 
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