The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a very interesting pickup truck concept. That can leave one wondering if Hyundai will actually build it, or if it is more of some design exercise. After doing some reading I really think that Hyundai will build the Santa Cruz.
One of the biggest reasons is its potential to have great fuel economy. The Santa Cruz will likely be offered as a diesel. That engine would likely be a 2.0-liter turbo delivering 190 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. That diesel engine will be more fuel efficient than a petrol counterpart, and that's a good thing because people currently prioritize fuel economy when buying, and it also helps Hyundai to meet corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) targets.
The full-size and mid-size pickup segment is pretty full of options already. Hyundai is instead going for a small pickup. This will give people the utility of a truck with the fuel efficiency of a car -- a double win. Hyundai believes that this will appeal to millennials who are residing in cities and owning less vehicles per family than the previous generation.
The Santa Cruz will also be cheap to produce because it shares a platform with the Hyundai Tucson. Mike O'Brien, Hyundai Motor America's VP of product planning, says that sharing the platform " really helps mange the cost of engineering, helping us make it a competitively priced product." Introducing the Santa Cruz will help to double the amount of cars that Hyundai builds based on the platform. The Tucson sells about 50,000 each year, and Hyundai believes that the Santa Cruz will sell the same or more.
There seems to be a lot of reasons why Hyundai should build the Santa Cruz, though Hyundai has said that it has not made a final decision on production yet. We will just have to keep our ears open for news on production in the future.