By on May 27, 2015

Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept“There is a very high probability we get the approval of the truck soon.” – Dave Zuchowski, CEO of Hyundai Motor America.

In a sense, the debut of the Santa Cruz Concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this past January was surprising because of its level of production readiness and execution. On the other hand, to those who were aware Hyundai had for years been contemplating the idea of a pickup truck, the Santa Cruz wasn’t a shock at all.

Now, with word that Hyundai is likely to soon green-light production, the case for marketplace success is quickly called up for debate. Even with the arrival of new midsize pickup trucks from General Motors, the non-full-size pickup truck market remains relatively small at just 15% of the overall pickup truck category and 2.2% of the overall industry’s volume through the first four months of 2015. 

ALL THOSE IN FAVOUR
But, the advocates will say, a production Santa Cruz wouldn’t be a traditional pickup truck. Hyundai knows better than to whittle a decade away in the full-size genre like Nissan has with the Titan. The Santa Cruz will likely be a sibling to the third-generation Hyundai Tucson.

Forget V8 power, the Santa Cruz wouldn’t likely even see a V6. In fact, the concept was fitted with a 2.0L four-cylinder diesel engine pumping out 190 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. (A 2.2L four-cylinder diesel, standard in the Hyundai Santa Fe across the pond, generates 194 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque.) It’s what the truck market’s been missing, Santa Cruz proponents will say. The reason trucks account for 14% of U.S. auto sales now, down from 19% in 2004, is because truly small pickups like the Ford Ranger and Subaru Baja are dead and buried.

Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept

After all, Americans will likely register more than 2.5 million new pickup trucks in 2015. If Americans could buy 670,000 non-full-size pickups this year as they did in 2004 (rather than the 380,000 they’re likely to), pickups would be just as common now as they were then. If only they could buy them, say the supporters of truly small trucks, they would. The buyers are out there, if only there was a product that suited them to a tee. Not a nearly-full-size truck like the new Colorado, but a truck that’s more suitable for weekend fun than it is for week-long work.

They may be right. Hyundai Motor America boss of product planning, Mike O’Brien, believes the Santa Cruz could do Tucson-like sales volume in the United States. That won’t provide the crazy full-size figures of the Ford F-Series or even GMC’s Sierra, but Hyundai averaged 46,300 annual Tucson sales over the last four years. In a market that’s eating up high-riding vehicles, Hyundai is a car-focussed company that could certainly use another 46,000 sales from its “light truck” portfolio.

DOUBTERS LINE UP
But, naysayers point out, isn’t 46,000 a big number for a small truck in an America that loves full-size pickups?

Subaru sold 33,132 Outback-based Bajas in total over more than five years. True, the Subaru of 2002 was not the force that Subaru is now, but the Baja is as much a comparable historical vehicle with the Santa Cruz as there is. You can also consider the Honda Ridgeline: like the Hyundai concept, the Ridgeline isn’t a body-on-frame vehicle, but it was sold by a large automaker with proven underpinnings. The Ridgeline’s best sales year: 2006, when 50,193 were sold. But even during its healthiest span of time, between 2005 and 2007, Honda averaged only 45,000 annual Ridgeline sales.

Indeed, other automakers have considered the idea and set it aside. Remember the Dodge Rampage Concept, the GMC Denali XT Concept, and the Toyota A-Bat Concept? They didn’t make it, and the business case likely had an awful lot to do with it.

MURANO CC OR OUTBACK?
Depending on your perspective, history is either firmly on the Santa Cruz’s side or completely against it. As presented in Detroit, the Hyundai Santa Cruz undoubtedly is not like anything else. That’s a formula that buried the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet but exalted the Subaru Outback.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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132 Comments on “Can Hyundai USA Sell 50,000 Copies Of The Santa Cruz Per Year?...”


  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    No

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Odds of a manual transmission being offered: Zero

    Odds of me buying this: Zero

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      Eggzactly. No doubt it’ll get the 2.3T engine in the diesel-averse US. But without a 6-speed (and not in stripper trim!), I have no use for it. I’ll find a Ranger instead.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      Odds of me buying this new? 50/50

      Odds of me buying this new if equipped with a manual? 100%

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Impact of manual transmission holdouts on any company’s product planning: Zero.

      • 0 avatar
        Monty

        Made me laugh. Mostly because it’s true. But I would still consider it even without the option for a stick. It suits my lifestyle to a T, I’d just prefer the manual if I can get it.

        Interesting tidbit from a former BMW sales person I know – he claims that manual transmissions will become more scarce and will eventually be an option only on the more expensive “sports” cars as opposed to the default on cheap cars due to the advantages of economies of scale. Which I think is a distinct possibility.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Tired of this tease.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Just fail already so we can get on with our lives.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    There is no positive historical data to be had for an unpowered car based ute. Nothing about this makes sense, crap design, crap setup, no towing capability, a work(less than developed world) engine in a lifestyle American(designed(or lack there of)) vehicle, and a market that has outright denied similar entries.

    Even vulpine will find a reason why he won’t buy it after raving how badly it’s needed. See Cherokee, Renegade, Colorado.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      We’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we, Hummer? As of now, it really depends on how soon Hyundai can manufacture it. I’m planning to buy SOMETHING by the end of June next year.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @DiM,
      Underpowered? That’s a big call when no ones knows what engine is going into it.

      Also, if you look at small CUVs they seem to perform adequately.

      I’d bet prior to the demise of the large American family car you made similar comments about the Euro and Japanese cars.

      But, I do think your comment must just be a troll. Why else would you publish such illogical bullsh!t constantly.

      It makes you appear rustic.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      190/300 is more than respectable power if it weighs under 4,000 pounds.

      Which there’s no reason it shouldn’t.

      Modern diesels are also quiet enough to not be a problem in a “lifestyle” vehicle.

      (I mean, I think it looks ghastly and won’t sell.

      But the drivetrain won’t be the problem, nor assertions about towing capacity that, as far as I know, have no basis in anything Hyundai has actually said.

      There’s no reason this thing couldn’t be rated 3,500 pounds like a gas V6 SUV or light truck, and those sell just fine.

      My “perfect light truck according to the internet” 1994 Toyota had that notional capacity … which was immensely optimistic on Toyota’s part. It could barely pull *itself* up a grade at 40mph with a full canopy-bed, let alone 3,500 pounds of trailer.)

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I’m guessing a 1,100lb passenger/cargo rating and 3,500 trailer pull rating.

        Underpowered? not everyone needs a 400 hp pickup to haul lawn and garden supplies 10% of the time and air the remaining 90%.

        If it can’t fit 4 adults and a big dog in the cab and pack around my camping gear and 12 ft boat, I’m not interested.

        Might make a good first vehicle once my oldest son turns 16 but since its a Hyundai I wouldn’t get it without one lengthy warranty.

      • 0 avatar
        BahamaTodd

        This is based on a compact car platform with a very short wheelbase. Don’t expect more than 1500-2000 lbs for towing.
        Since it will be pretty compact it should come in under 3400 lbs.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    50k a year? Very funny.

    Depending on the amount of part-sharing with the Tucson, it may not be a money-loser, but it is not exactly destined to sell in volume.

    There’s a reason that small trucks like the Ranger of old no longer exist.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    5 seater legit crew cab? Yes.
    2 seater extended cab w/ jump seats (which is how the concept appears)? No.

    Extended cab midsizers trade off people carrying for a decent sized box (6.5′ bed) and that works for people like my dad who never carry people around. This looks to have a 4.5′ bed and back seats that would make a Mustang look roomy. The Santa Cruz appears to be a case of trying to be everything to everyone in a too small footprint which means it won’t do anything well.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “5 seater legit crew cab?” NO. Adamantly NO!
      “2 seater extended cab w/ jump seats (which is how the concept appears)?” Yes. Like your dad, I have no need for a full-time back seat that wastes cargo space. I can put that back seat space to much better use by even leaving the jump seat out–but I DO need that extended space. I expect the Santa Cruz will be a very niche, but surprisingly popular beast.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        The difference is that my dad would think this is a useless little truck because he can’t fit his dog boxes, tool boxes, or concrete tools in the back and it would be stuck any time he left the pavement at his hobby farm or coon/deer/bear hunting. If he wanted something with good gas mileage and road manners, he’d keep his old Tacoma as the farm/hunting truck and buy a sedan to daily drive. That is my whole point. It has to do something well (carry people or carry stuff) to hit a target market. This looks to do neither particularly well.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Do you have any proof of any of that, Quentin? I don’t see why it couldn’t accommodate a dog box, hand-held tool boxes or even concrete tools easily enough; but you’ve already proven you want something bigger, like the Nissan, Honda or Toyota offerings for those tasks.

          On the other hand, the Tucson has already proven its ability to handle most farm-style off-road needs, even if it’s not any good as a rock-crawler.

          As far as my needs, this *appears* to be nearly perfect compared to everything else currently available. On the other hand, a modernized (but not expanded) 80s version compact pickup truck (meaning same size as the old ones but with modern safety and drive train designs) would fit the bill best of all.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Jeez, Vulpine, all we’ve seen so far is this render by a 12 yr-old Asperger and you’re defending it like a baby bird you just rescued.

            I’m interested, too, but this O’Brien guy is just playing with us. Gotta wait for something concrete.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            What “render” are you talking about, RH? Or did you forget the PHYSICAL VEHICLE has been shown at multiple shows around the country over the last few months?

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “the PHYSICAL VEHICLE has been shown at multiple shows”

            Oh, goody! Got a link? News to me :-)

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            All you have to do is search TTAC itself for other references to this truck IN auto shows. With photos.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            The fact that all of that stuff just fits in his 6.5′ bed is proof enough that this 4.5′ bed would be useless for those items. This concept either needs more bed or more people to be successful in the market. It is in no man’s land of having midsize extended cab interior AND smaller than midsize crew cab bed. If Hyundai really wanted to make this unique, they’d use the transverse mounted drivetrain to push the cab way forward and upright instead of going for the sleak, low, wide look. But this concept clearly puts form over function.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “But this concept clearly puts form over function.”

            That depends. If the function is a modest amount of carrying capacity with decent fuel economy, then I’d say the form fits the function.

            By the way, you said,
            1. Dog box
            2. Tool box
            3. Concrete tools.

            Now you’re saying all at the same time. Make up your mind, why don’t ya? In your attempt to weasel out, you’re digging yourself into a hole. Would your father like something like this or no? Simple, straight up question. You started out saying he probably would, then piled on excuse after excuse as to why he wouldn’t.

            You know, it really doesn’t matter because he’s the one making the decision, not you. In my own case, this rig is a far better fit for my wants and needs than anything else in the US that claims to be a pickup truck–because they all have their problems and the best available are all too big. I’m still waiting to see what the new Toyota does to its interior and Nissan and Honda both need work in their interiors as well–plus the fact that the Honda didn’t even give you a choice of Extended Cab. So I continue to wait and for now the Hyundai appears to be the most likely “pickup’ candidate yet.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            I’m not weaseling out of anything. My wording neither implies all at once or individually. If you must know, the dog box usually flies solo. The dog box is large enough that it wouldn’t fit by itself in the Hyundai. The concrete tools include chutes, come-alongs, brooms, extension handles, bull floats, modular frame, said toolbox, and occasionally a trial machine. He downsized to a midsize because his concrete work is mostly on the side these days and he sticks to smaller jobs that don’t require multiple trial machines. He also wanted better maneuverability for hunting. He actually uses the locker on his truck. This lifestyle truck is so absolutely wrong for him. Where did you get that I implied that he would like this truck? I used him as an example of someone that doesn’t buy a truck as a family hauler. Those buyers demand capability even in a small/midsize package. Else why bother with a truck?

            Edit: lol, you thought I was talking about a handheld toolbox!? No, this is a 2 man lift box.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Vulpine – dog box in the cab? only if you have a couple of attack Chihuahuas.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Extended cab midsizers trade off people carrying for a decent sized box (6.5′ bed) and that works for people like my dad who never carry people around.”

            Your own words, Quentin. Your own words.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            I’m saying that the 6.5′ bed is part of the requirement for the extended cab truck to make business sense. He traded some people space for more bed space. He was willing to go with a smaller extended cab and a midsize truck because he got a 6.5′ bed without having to bump up to a full size. He’d have purchased a full size if the Tacoma only came w/ a 5.5′ bed.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Outside of you, Lou, who mentioned anything about a dog box in the cab? I have a 50# dog, but he likes to lie on the floor, not on the seat, so a box is unnecessary for him. It’s also why I don’t even need a jump seat for part-time passengers.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            So, Quentin, your father liked the 80s compact trucks and would have stuck with them–or at least the ’09-style Ranger–as compared to full size. He and I aren’t all that different. My gripe is that what I wanted wasn’t available when I was ready to buy as I wouldn’t (and won’t) buy any Ford products and none of the available mid-sizers at the time were any good–for varying reasons but just as an example the older Colorado didn’t have a good reputation even then, much less now. The newer Colorado is a much better truck, but it also grew far too much which took it right out of my market. And yes, I did test-fit one last year when I was ‘trading’ my old F-150; it was as big as the old F-150, which was too big for my needs. I also didn’t like the way Chevy handled the jump seats and floor storage of the extended cab model.

            Again, the much shorter, notably lower Santa Cruz fits my needs and wants far better.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            My dad has owned the following trucks: 80s F150, 80s F150, 95 F250, 95 S10, 03 F250, 11 Tacoma, 98 Tacoma. The S10 was a 2WD, regular cab, long bed that he used as his commuter truck during the F250 ownership periods. The F250s were for tax purposes on his concrete construction business. When that was no longer his primary income, he ditched the big trucks and the S10 for the 2011 Tacoma. My father in law had the 98 Tacoma, it was stolen and recovered, and my FIL sold it to my dad for $750. He got it road worthy again and keeps it around as a beater. I’ve recommended selling the new truck while it has value on the used market and getting something good on gas, but he likes having a nice truck for when he visits me and a beater truck for the really nasty stuff. We work on various projects and he isn’t much up for driving the 20 year old truck for 4 hrs each way when he visits. None of the trucks he has owned has had less than a 6.5′ bed.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Well, Quentin, I had an ’83 Mitsubishi Sport (think Dodge D-50 as the Americanized version) standard cab, short (6ft) bed. The only thing it lacked was the extended cab which would have pushed me onto the long-bed chassis. At the time, that was the ONLY difference between the standard and extended cab versions. I had to lose that truck when I moved in ’84 and didn’t buy another truck of any kind until I bought the ’90 F-150 as a 20-year-old ‘panic’ buy for a sudden and extremely necessary load. We expected the truck to serve as a second vehicle, but after only putting 4,000 miles on it in three years because it was simply too large, my wife and I are in need of a truly smaller and at least somewhat capable truck that looks, rides and FITS the drivers and the locations where we drive. As I said before, we tested the Nissan, Honda and Toyota and they all fell short when it came to fitting the driver.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Vulpine – How many times have you claimed the Sport Trac’s bed was much to small, even for you, and that’s what caused its demise? Dozens of times? Scores??

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Yup the Sport Trac’s bed was too small for Vulpine and supposedly caused it to fail, but this with an even smaller bed will supposedly sell as good as the Sport Trac and will be “perfect” for Vulpine.

            As a few others have noted it will sell 20-25K in the first year or two, if they are lucky and then sales will drop off from there and be discontinued after a few years of selling 5-10K per year.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You’re conflating two different arguments, Scout. The Sport Trac had TWO different problems which caused me to not even consider it and everybody here knows what one of them is. The bed size of that was only one of them. The fact that it carried four full doors was the second. But the so-called ‘straw’ was the fact that there was no way to extend that bed–not even into the cab a-la Avalanche–which made it unthinkable for me. The bed alone is probably why it failed with everyone else when you consider the overall size of the vehicle.

            The Hyundai is significantly different in nearly every aspect. The bed IS longer than the Sport Trac’s already and according to Hyundai has a method of extending that bed to carry sport bikes and other “lifestyle” toys. It also does not pretend to be a crew cab truck with four full doors (don’t even get me started on RAM and GM’s full-sized “extended cab” designs!). I don’t claim that what I want fits everyone else’s needs or desires; I’m sick and tired of too many here claiming that what THEY like fits everyone’s needs and desires–it just doesn’t work that way.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Great for weekend projects, chores and other stuff, but for daily driving?

    Lots of folks would love a “true” small/compact pickup, at the ready for when the urge/need arises, but it needs to be a *used* pickup purchase.

    Why have the brand new truck sitting around all week collecting cob webs and drive the aging/dated/high miles Camry or Escape Monday through Friday?

    And everyone you know will want to borrow the thing at some point.

    So a compromise is made. Tacoma for example.

  • avatar
    Shinoda is my middle name

    This is essentially a redux of the Ridgeline. We saw how that worked for Honda.

    Maybe they could put a couple of jumseats in back and resurrect the Subaru BRAT….oops….NHTSA would nix that…<>.

    Guess we have to wait for GM to get off their collective arses and give us a new SS based El Camino…can I get a “Hell, yeah!”

    • 0 avatar
      cwallace

      I think it was the high price that really killed the Ridgeline, not the package. At those numbers, you were cross-shopping some pretty nice full sized trucks, and unless you were a diehard Honda buyer, it just didn’t make sense.

      This would be cool, if the bed is big enough. It won’t be six feet long, but as long as it approaches five feet, it could work. I’m surprised 33,132 people could think of something useful to do with a Subaru Baja’s bed.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Considering Holden was the most likely source for those SS El Caminos and Holden is no longer manufacturing cars (or is very nearly done doing so) such a car/truck is even less likely. On the other hand, GM/Chevy already has the Tornado/Montana available in Brazil and Fiat has the Strada/Ram 700 in Brazil and Mexico. It wouldn’t be difficult at all for either one to upgrade them to US specs.

      And according to one reader who developed a comparison shot of the Santa Cruz to the Chevy Colorado based on tire size (they apparently use the same size tire) the rear bumper of the SC comes almost exactly out to the rear axle of the Colorado, making it notably shorter with a roofline roughly 8″ lower than the Colorado. Also if we consider the vehicle type, even if it fails here in the US (which I somewhat doubt) it has a ready-made market in Mexico and South America.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The Ridgeline is ugly and was too pricey.

      Also, Honda made the mistake of trying to make it look too much like a regular pick-up, albeit an awkward looking one.

      In addition, since the introduction of the Ridgeline, crossover sales have boomed and are only continuing to increase.

      Might just be the time for a crossover with an open (expandable) bed.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    See Subaru Baja, much more loyal following than hyndai, Subaru buyers that is. If they couldn’t do it, I don’t hold a lot of hope for hyndai

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Had Subaru held out just one more year, I very well might have bought one. Since they didn’t, I ended up buying a Jeep Wrangler instead. NOT a full-sized pickup.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “Had Subaru held out just one more year…”

        Had Subaru only KNOWN, MAN!!!

        If you were serious about it, you would’ve seen too many of them, left over on Subaru dealer lots. Heck the last ’12 Colorados did sell until deep into 2014.

        But your new Wrangler was bought by default? I thought you weren’t in it just for the lyfestile??

        But here’s a clue: OEMs are in it for the money, not for the Vulpii.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “If you were serious about it, you would’ve seen too many of them, left over on Subaru dealer lots.”

          You know not of what you speak; I went to two different Subaru dealerships in a 25-mile radius of my home and neither one had any–they were all sold out and said none were available within a 100-mile radius (which includes FIVE big cities). If there were any Bajas left 18 months after Subie dropped them, they sure weren’t around here.

          The Wrangler was purchased because it had 4×4 and offered a true convertible top. It HAS become the ‘truck’ of the home now that we have a more economical daily driver. Problem is, I have to ‘prepare’ it for truck-like use as the back window puts a steel bar across the tailgate when I want to load something relatively large into it.

          But here’s a clue–not all car companies think as you do, otherwise Hyundai wouldn’t be taking this concept any farther. Not all drivers think as you do, else there would be no Chevy Montana or GM Tornado or Fiat Strada or Ram 700. Those vehicles wouldn’t be selling ANYWHERE, if nobody wanted them.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Once an OEM has to hope and wait for all the stars to line up for the vulpii demographic, they’re better off cutting bait.

            But who said anything about consumers in Mexico and South America? It’s a way different scenario down there for little tiny pickups, as it’s different down there from the rest of the world too. You’re talking about places where the original VW Beetle (platform) and VW Combie bus just barely went off sale.

            There was a time and place when tiny fwd based pickups sold OK in the US. And it’s a damn shame about parachute Pantz too!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You killed your argument with one statement, Mike: “There was a time and place when tiny fwd based pickups sold OK in the US.”

            We’ve only had ONE “tiny FWD pickup” in the US and yes, it was moderately popular–for being a Volkswagen. Problem is, it got killed by two things, neither of which was exactly popularity oriented.
            A) Guess. It always brings a fowl taste to your mouth, and your commentary.
            B) CAFE — admittedly it got decent mileage, but by the mid-70s there were a number of anti-pollution and fuel economy regulations being pushed onto the OEMs and to be quite blunt, the combination simply wasn’t worth VW’s effort any more.
            Do, please, tell us what OTHER “tiny FWD based pickups” were available in the US and “sold OK”.

            Oh, and while you’re at it, how about you link to every, single, time I made that claim. Wanna bet it was only four? I don’t mean how many times in a single conversation; I mean how many unrelated times have I said that? However, since you want to make that argument, I would like to note that in EVERY case, I marked that said bed had no means of expansion and most certainly your ridiculous argument that a fifteen-inch tailgate somehow became a twenty-four-inch deck extension really caused me to ROFL! At least the Hyundai in the prototype form offers a REAL deck extension. I will admit I don’t know if that will make it to the end product, but considering the “lifestyle” purpose for which it is designed, I wouldn’t be surprised if they made it work in a realistic manner.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It shouldn’t take more than one or 2 to know they’re wrong for the US/NA market. Past a certain time/era, anyway. But ah you forget the Plymouth Rampage.

            The BRAT and BAJA were’t RWD either. Neither is the Ridgeline. They’re AWD without low range. Not so good either. Some consumers may want straight up RWD/2wd. Especially on the west coast, the Meca of small trucks. Btw, California is the only place the Tacoma has outsold the F-150.

            So who cares how many times you said it exactly. You said it repeatedly. The more you talk, the more you sound like a shyster lawyer!!

            But tailgates don’t have jewelry box hinges. The tailgate rotates away from the bed few inches, but you’re clearly splitting hairs. But that’s all you’ve got, Counselor!!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ah, you’re right, Mike, I did forget the Rampage; based on the Omni and yes, somewhat popular itself. And yes, it was FWD. I acknowledge your correction. As for the Subarus, they were–possibly with limited exceptions–AWD, not FWD; I never made any claims they were RWD. But I would also note that FWD also wasn’t as common and not as–well, ubiquitous as they are today. After all, Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge at the time were the ONLY real FWD brand in the States during the late 70s, early 80s. GM itself resisted the changeover, as did Ford, until the early-mid 80s With the Escort being Ford’s first popular FWD (the Fiesta wasn’t that popular) and prior to the 80s GM’s only popular FWD was the relatively luxurious Toronado, Riviera and Seville trio which even into the 80s were relatively full-sized. The transition to FWD period in the US has since been named the Malaise era and, again with limited exceptions, the reliability of those transition era FWD cars wasn’t all that great.

            That’s one reason why RWD has held on so long with trucks here in the States. Too many buyers are afraid they won’t be up to the task for the purposes they want to use the trucks. What they don’t seem to understand is that FWD can and will never eliminate RWD when heavy hauling needs to be done. There will always be a need for RWD trucks, but they need to be relegated to “Super Duty” designs and up. With today’s smaller, light weight travel trailers a FWD platform and load-leveling hitch can keep the drive wheels firmly on the ground while the smaller size with a usable, if not massive, open load bed can meet the majority of light-duty needs.

            They are separate markets that honestly have little chance of cross-shopping. Compact CUV/SUV owners are far more likely to choose a compact ‘trucklet’ and stay away from the full-sized road whales™ but may use them as an entry to the mid-sized trucks–so long as THOSE don’t grow any larger. You, yourself have commented on how the old compact trucks were the favorite of small landscaping companies and while many have taken to bigger trucks with huge trailers behind them, the startups simply can’t afford big and bigger–they need some means of starting small and working up to larger capabilities. In other words, a full range of sizes is needed for the overall market, just as there is a full range of sizes in sedans, CUVs and SUVs. One size does NOT fit all.

            And two to three inches on a fifteen-inch tailgate does NOT add up to twenty-four inches when you SPECIFICALLY stated that dropping the tailgate of a pickup truck added two feet to the length of the load floor in answer to my ‘load bed too short’ comment about the Sport Trak Explorer. I would still not trust a load of eight-foot event tables to a four-foot bed with an eighteen-inch tailgate extension; the risk of those tables tipping out is simply too great without excessive tie-downs. I’ll admit I wouldn’t do it long-term even in this Hyundai, but again, this Hyundai was displayed with a true bed extension that didn’t rely on just the tailgate according to those early reports If it can safely carry dirt bikes or other outsized cargo safely, then maybe it can do the job I need it for.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Anything past 5 ft, and there’s absolute zero chance of 8 ft tables, lumber, etc, tipping out. Shows how much you know about anything.

            But the Santa Cruz would have an even shorter bed than the Sport Trac. What about that??

            Point is it would be a tiny niche market, and it’s doubtful you would even buy one once you pour over it with a tape measurer and slide ruler.

            Trucklettes like this had a decent run in the ’80s. The rest of us have moved on though. I imagine your current fashion involves a Mullet and Parachute Pantz for some reason.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Anything past 5 ft, and there’s absolute zero chance of 8 ft tables, lumber, etc, tipping out.” — Shows how little you know about physics.

            “But the Santa Cruz would have an even shorter bed than the Sport Trac. What about that??” — What part of ‘extendable bed’ don’t you understand?

            “Point is it would be a tiny niche market, and it’s doubtful you would even buy one once you pour over it with a tape measurer and slide ruler.” — I’d like to see you pour a tape measurer and slide ruler over it. Or did you mean Pore over it with a tape measure and slide rule?
            As I’ve said before, we’ll just have to wait and see. If it doesn’t come out soon enough, the issue is moot. I have a time frame to purchase and unless Hyundai can get reasonably close to that time frame, it won’t matter (though I may regret whatever choice I do make if they manage to miss by only a few months.) Once I buy the Renegade, I won’t be looking again for another three years minimum.

            And keep working on your imagination, Denver; right now your visualization is, “weak and muddy”.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            No doubt you failed Physics if you think the 2 or 3ft end of the tables will overpower 5 to 6 ft fully on the bed and tailgate.

            “,,,we’ll just have to wait and see…”

            That doesn’t sound anywhere near a commitment. It’s pretty clear its exact dimension will make it or break it. ‘Too big for *this*, too small *THAT*’!

            Normal pickup buyers aren’t finicky or anal about such trivial minutiae. I hope Hyundai knows what they’d be getting themselves into! You’re a perfect example!!

  • avatar
    Marone

    No.

    See how sucessful it was for the Baja, Ridgeline, etc.

    How many more TTAC posts are we going to see on this thing?

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Subaru pretty much lost their A$$ on the BAJA. Over all Subaru profits took a dip shortly after the BAJA was introduced, and rebounded right after it was killed off. When you give consumers more choices on your showroom, they might take them.

    • 0 avatar
      formula m

      They couldn’t have lost that much. Existing chassis, drive line and interior. Probably less materials involved. I know they lost money but by automotive disaster standards I couldn’t be that bad. Silverados are less expensive than Tahoe/ Suburbans.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        If you’re mostly dividing up, faithful to the brand, customers at the showroom, it’s still extremely expensive for that extra/needless car in the lineup.

        That’s even when using many existing parts/platforms. Especially if that offering sells in very low volumes.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I could see this working for those that seek a Jeep – an outdoor activity lifestyle vehicle. 50K is not likely but it might not be a total failure. If it did half that number I’d be impressed. The diesel option could be the ticket, as the 4.7l V8 in my Dakota is 235 HP & 295 TQ so similar power in a smaller unibody would get decent mileage while still offering some towing power for ATVs, bikes and Jetskis. If it could tow 3,000lb my interest level goes way up.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    If I had a need for anyrhing close to this I’d buy a 3000$ used ranger.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      With decent care and minor repairs (that are extremely cheap), there is no reason not to. Save just a fraction of that would-be car payment in a fund for when the $500 clutch job is required or the $75 alternator goes bad lol. Seriously, those things are hard to kill, especially with the 4 cyl or 3.0L.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Heh, 50k/year? No. As the author points out, similar vehicles struggled in this area and the Ridgeline and Baja were actually more practical as lifestyle vehicles as they had 4 doors. This thing would sell approximately as many units as GM would sell Holden Utes if they brought them here.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Only if Vulpine buys 46,259 of them.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    The Santa Cruz…that is the result when Hyundai clones a Santa Fe with a Vera Cruz.

  • avatar

    I don’t think so. I think this is something that would sell in decent volume for the first few years, and then sales would drop significantly after that.

    That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t still like to see it on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed on the volume curve. They might move 20-25k for a short time, then it would drop off and be discontinued after 5 years max.

      It still looks like a useless vehicle to me, but I’m not in the truck/trucklet demographic.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    Small trucks no longer exist because so-called “truck guys” want to be able to brag about towing capability (though many of them never tow), cargo carrying capability (though many never anything more than air in the bed), and small trucks just don’t lend themselves to the American “real macho man” image as well as full-size trucks do.

    The Subaru Baja failed on styling – face it, it was UGLY. The Ridgeline has standard 4WD (justifying a higher price) and is still too big (many “real truck guys” bought full-size trucks).

    This Hyundai won’t sell 50,000 a year because it will be derided for being just what it is: a Hyundai truck. The so-called “real truck guys” wont buy it because it doesn’t fit their image. The seating capacity will be too limited for too many people (although two seats is more than enough for me). and I suspect that the price will be too high as well.

    The U.S. really needs a truly small truck, with a price to match. Want an example? Look at the Chevy Tornado currently sold in Mexico.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      “The U.S. really needs a truly small truck, with a price to match.”

      If it’s cheap enough and decently designed/featured, they will every one they can make.

      Will it be cheap enough to sell 40k+/yr? Probably not. Will a truck like the concept sell 40k+/yr? Probably not. I do think it can be successful, but I’m not sure if they can stay disciplined enough to maintain differentiation from other trucks. The normal thinking is “More!” Add more capacity, more size, more power. The success of this truck will be less, or in other words, more gaps between it and other trucks. They need the biggest price delta, the biggest mpg delta, while still meeting the bare minimum of performance.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Those crude little Latin trucklets would not sell here. People bitch about interior materials in subcompact cars, you think theyre going to get something witb plastics so hard (otherwise known as “durable”) that they could crack open a knuckle with? NVH, power, ride quality and safety/comfort would doom them from the start.

        I like them, dont get me wrong, but nobody will buy them north of the Rio Grande.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I disagree, John. But there’s no way to know for sure without bringing them in and the only way to manage that is to have some one OEM break the ice, as it were. As I’ve said before, I know several people in my little town of 7,000 who WANT something like those “crude little Latin trucklets”.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Your raging about “real truck guys” comes across as ignorant and spiteful.

      Real truck guys bought Rangers, S-series (GM), small Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Isuzu etc., no real big bragging rights on towing and hauling with them.

      They mov up to a full size past Ridgeline because they get the same MPG with increased interior, towing, hauling and what not for a similar price (usually a much better value with an American brand especially).

      If you went to look at a Tucson, and that was the only CUV they offered, would you buy it over a roomier, more powerful, more comfortable CRV, Escape, Edge, etc is it was priced about the same and had the same MPG as them? No, of course not, yet you hold some bitterness towards people who choose a better-in-every-way F-150, Ram 1500, etc over a dated, less capable but with similar price and MPG Ridgeline. Stupid “real truck guys”, huh?

    • 0 avatar
      Zoom

      Wasn’t Mahindra supposed to bring over a cheap, small truck?

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        Supplier / dealer issues killed that. And even if they had gotten past those problems, the chicken tax would have made it cost more than anyone would pay.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    This is the problem with taking a CUV and cutting off the back roof. You never have a use for something that’s 4×4 or 4×5 that your CUV can’t do with 3 feet of height. The only advantage this has is you can move a la-z-boy across town without having to rent a truck, but that’s about all you’re going to move with it. You’ll not want to haul anything too heavy because it will have a modest weight limit and it won’t have the size to be relevant when you price it against full-size trucks.

    I wouldn’t be against owning one as a 2nd vehicle just to get my woodworking project material home but I can’t haul any decent hardwood without sticking it out of the tail and that just irritates me because the xB for all its shortcomings can atleast swallow 8ft lengths if I’m driving alone. I’m sure it makes sense in the way the old explorer sport tracs did, they were basically free sales on a platform ready to go but just how much bigger is the next Tuscon since an F-150 is nearly 3 feet longer at a minimum and can be almost 6.5 feet longer at max. I’m sure it can sell, but again, it may just be a chance to put a tow hold in the market and put some free sales out there to start developing a more butch image.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Meh. Put two reverse facing seats in the bed with little Oh Sh*t handles and lap belts, add a couple KC fog lamps on the roof and I might be interested.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Hyundai will not sell 50 000 of these a year, a more realistic figure of 20 000 I would of stated yes.

    There was a reason why the concept had that R Series diesel in it.

    The smallest pickup to come to the US is still a couple of years out the next Frontier, it will be the size of a Hardbody/D20/D22.

    The only way these will be viable is you’ll need to import them, and they are produced as single cabs to give an extra couple of foot in the bed.

    As this vehicle stands I don’t even think it is suitable for developing nations in a 2 row seat configuration.

    But, we all know it is unviable to import pickups into the US due to the chicken tax.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – When an OEM decides the US is not right for one of their cars, it’s just smart business. But if it’s a “pickup”, suddenly it’s a conspiracy??

      Where were you on the “Mazda 2” article yesterday? You’re remarkably, 100% silent on all articles where OEMs willfully deny US consumers of particular cars.

      And where were you during the 80’s Mini-Truck Craze/Trend/Circus???

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      The next Frontier will be based on the global Navarra. The D20/22 sized replacement is dead.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Big Al from ‘Murica,
        The 2015 Navara is loosely based on the D20/D22 chassis.

        It will come in a wide body and narrow body.

        It appears the US will have the narrow body based on the D23 chassis.

        Nissan will not use the D40 as a basis as it’s chassis was probably one of the worse around.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Big Al from Oz – agreed. I doubt that they would sell more than 50k. I suspect that once a FTA gets signed we will see these.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        If it was up to the vulpii, maybe. Except OEMs still have to want to come to North America, Chicken tax or no.

        So how many car OEMs of the world, obviously not affected by the Chicken tax, have already sidestepped, avoided or abandoned North America for greener pastures?

        It’s not the Promised Land some have made it out to be. That’s not counting abuse from fleet and other cheapskates. Just ask Mazda, Ford, Dodge, Mitsu, VW, Subaru, Isuzu, Plymouth, etc. They left the North American pickup market screaming like little girls!!!

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “I suspect that once a FTA gets signed we will see these.”

        The FTA was signed three years ago. Your favorite tariff will be phased out for the South Koreans under that agreement.

        Meanwhile, if it is imported, then I would fully expect Hyundai to claim that it is a passenger car per the harmonized trade schedule. The odds that Hyundai would prevail aren’t bad.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Pch101,
          The FTA with Sth Korea was signed in March of this year.

          There are no deals with Korea in relation with vehicle trade.

          Vehicle trade will remain as it was.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      These would be built in the US on the same lines as the CUV they are based on. The Chicken Tax and/or FTAs have no relevance in this discussion. Because it is a SUT built on the same production line as the CUV the investment is much lower than a proper pickup which means they could be profitable at low volumes, though I doubt the volume will be high enough for them to stick around for long.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The Tucson is currently imported from Korea, although that may change if Hyundai builds another US plant.

        http://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/2015/03/11/hyundai-new-plant-alabama/70148958/

  • avatar
    RS

    It’s hard to comment on potential sales without seeing what exactly the are going to sell and how different it is from the concept trucklet.

    As far as the concept vehicle goes, if they stray from a box with good utility like the Ridgeline did, they should expect the same amount of sales. Hopefully Honda learned their lesson and nobody else will repeat it.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    This isn’t a small truck. Small trucks have beds that are actually big enough to haul something. It’s a “lifestyle vehicle”, a less-practical Subaru Baja, which did not exactly set the world on fire. Or maybe a Jeep, without the removable top. Sorry, but I don’t think the world has been clamoring for the return of the Subaru Brat. Not a gamble I would take if I were Hyundai.

  • avatar
    misplacedape

    although it bemoans me to say, i embody this youthful adventurer type that all these new ‘midsize’ trucks are going after. i like to camp and hunt, and do enough construction and dirty car parts hauling to need a bed. i have a project car for fun thats often in pieces so my car hauler is also my daily. that being said i live in the city and dont want to plow around in a full size. but its sad that midsize trucks are barely cheaper and barely get better fuel economy. the only real selling point is that theyre less of a pain in the ass to park in the city, so you have to really not want a full size to make it worth it.

    i could see this solving that problem. the fuel economy on my tacoma is abysmal for what it is, and id say the jury is still out on the colorado, but the price on the diesel version is looking to be enough that i didnt feel the need to wait.

    the only thing its missing is the ability to tow a car on a trailer. do that, and youve got a winner.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I don’t know about youse guys, but I don’t see even a pathetically crippled runt of a truck here. I see a lifted utility coupe with presumed urban nimbleness, Asian build quality, acceptable mpgs and a very garage-friendly footprint that can very secondarily handle toting an occasional large purchase

    It’s the “coupe” part that attracts me and being somewhat lifted and a little tall it is more geriatrically friendly than a normal, pavement- grazing coupe. It’s about the intimacy of the coupe environment, a mobile man-cave, a swell toy.

    I’ve known pickup trucks, Santa Cruz, and you are no pickup truck.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    They seem to forget, the Ridgeline and certainly the Titan wouldve each done better if they were updated. Hell, the Titan got NOTHING. They couldve tried a 4.0 V-6 version (engine from the Frontier, XTerra, etc) in smaller 2wd versions, maybe a regular cab to increase appeal if only a little, but no, kept the same V-8 with no alternative, same body, same everything. No mid-cycle refresh, no changes hardly at all in, what, 10 years? Their first effort was solid, but it wasnt kept fresh. How many times has F-150 been redesigned, recieved new engines, other major changes since the first Titan? The GM twins? Ram? Even the Ford Expedition has seen more attention.

    Honda didnt let the Ridgeline get quite as stale, but nearly so. Im betting the second gen will be much more suited to its market, much the same way the second gen USDM Oddyssy was. It went from an odd outcast with a small niche following, but second generation has mass appeal and sold quite well.

    I look for Honda to win the unibody pickup market with the new Ridgeline, such as it is. It may have a disadvantage if Hyundai offers a Diesel, but thats a big IF.

    Then Hyundai will have to worry about the smaller versions of the Colorado/Canyon Diesel. I know Id choose a Diesel Canyon from a proven truck maker, built like a truck, over some pretend Hyundai CUT (Crossover Utility Truck?).

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      CUT it out.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “They couldve tried a 4.0 V-6 version (engine from the Frontier, XTerra, etc) in smaller 2wd versions, maybe a regular cab to increase appeal if only a little”

      I was certain they offered 4.0L Titans early on, but can’t find any reference to that. I guess not.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        No, they made a big deal about the 5.6 being standard. There was talk that a 4.0L was coming, along with a regular cab within a year or so, but I never heard anything more after that and evidently they just went to work on their full size van at that point (in which they do offer the 4.0L) instead, and the Titan’s file fell behind the fileing cabinet for 7 years I guess lol.

        Some distant family who live in this community bought one in 2005 I think, or around there. They loved it, but when it came time to replace it last year, they bought a new F-150 (what is now the “old” style). What did Nissan expect them to do? If the Titan were significantly updated, they probably wouldve bought a new Titan. As it stood, why buy their old truck, almost exactly, again when the Ford was vastly improved and offered V-8 alternative (they got an EcoBoost FX4, pretty decent chunk of change Nissan lost).

        They were satisfied with the Titan, but it was time for sonething new, not just a reset odometer on what theyd been driving for the better part of a decade. In fact, the Titan isnt gone. they gave it to his mother when they put their last-gen Continental in the ditch in a storm I think. That lady lives just up the road from me and so now I see the Titan go by everyday. I dont know how many miles it has, but to me, the engine sounds loud (stock exhaust) and a little tired.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N,
      You really are clueless, aren’t you?

      So, do you know much about Hyundai/Kia?? By reading your comments you don’t.

      Kia was the globes second largest manufacturer of military trucks for starters. That to me seems to be impressive.

      Boy, are you DiM?? or Hummer?? Don’t operate at their level with a simplistic rural approach. Provincial you are.

  • avatar
    55_wrench

    Forget about towing a car. You need a real truck for that. .

    For a dolly, Uhaul requires the tow vehicle weighs 750 lbs more than the vehicle being towed. It also needs a Class 2 hitch good for 3500 lbs or more. There’s a limit of 3,450 pounds on the towed FWD vehicle.

    For a tandem trailer, they require minimum tow vehicle weight of 3500 lbs, and a 5,000 lb capacity hitch.

    To have a braking system and transmission to deal with these loads–you’re in F-250 territory if you’re going to do it safely.

    So walk it back a little. This concept checks a lot of boxes:

    –Extended cab. I already have a sedan.
    –Diesel engine & associated fuel economy.
    –Exposed bed. I need to do occasional runs for building materials and landscaping stuff..compost, whatever. I will NOT put mulch in an enclosed car.

    All I’d ask is they offer a back seat delete option for extra storage, or even a lockable box behind the front seats, and steel wheels with a decent amount of sidewall. Keep it light duty, keep the weight down, offer a lumber rack (or I’ll design one myself) and it could sell–at least to me.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Diesel, if offered, should be very interesting given the draconian requirements as of late.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I doubt the diesel makes it to the US market.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      55_wrench – depends on the jurisdiction. Weight limits on the trailer apply if you aren’t running brakes on the trailer.

      Something like this would be fine for a small utility trailer or tent trailer.

      • 0 avatar
        55_wrench

        Lou,
        I agree that this could easily tow a small trailer..

        The point is, I don’t want Hyundai to fall into the trap of making this trucklet all things to all people. Let the big dogs do the heavy towing..I’ve been there and done that with my F-250.

        If you are towing something as heavy as a car, you need mass, you need brakes, and you absolutely need brakes on a trailer. If you’ve ever had a rig get away from you in a crosswind, the best thing you have going for you to kill the oscillations by hitting the trailer brakes first. And this can happen even with proper weight distribution.

        I’ve been waiting for something like this, my towing days are over except for the occasional dump run. But if I ever again have a daily commute (remote worker here), this could fill the needs for both work and home projects–just make the bed extend enough to do some real work once in awhile.

        • 0 avatar
          misplacedape

          F250 would be all the better but by no means necessary. F150 is more than enough these days. I have over 1200 miles towing a 3000lb car on a quality trailer (aluminum, brakes) with a Tacoma – up and down mountains, has performed beautifully, not a hint of an issue.

          My only complaint on that truck is fuel economy since it has to be my daily, and I am far from being alone in that desire. I’m saying this thing with a diesel, class IV hitch and adequate frame/suspension could fill that gaping hole in the market perfectly.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Success depends on price, I think. From the looks of it, it won’t be cheap. So, most likely it turns into a de facto limited edition run—a flurry of interest followed by a sharp drop off in sales.

    Is there a market for it? I think so as I can see that I am one of several fairly common cohorts who would be interested: suburban guy with significant hardwareing needs, but also in need of an economical commuter. Other vehicles for hauling passengers.

    If other shoppers are like me, this will be cross-shopped against lower trim full-size trucks—very tough competition.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    This isn’t competition for the full-size pickups. Its most direct rivals would be the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Soul.

    This is a lifestyle (read: niche) vehicle. If priced low enough, it would probably appeal to old(er) men, even though their wives will complain about the lack of room in the back and the marketing effort will target the youth market. 50,000 units per year for the US seems optimistic; this is better suited to Asia.

    • 0 avatar
      Zoom

      As a lifestyle vehicle, I see more women buying this than men.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Pch101 – ” this is better suited to Asia” – urban Asia but not rural Asia. Those areas tend to ignore cargo limits and need something that can actually do a heavy job. This targets urban residents who don’t really need a truck but want something to carry stuff that would mess up the interior of a SUV/CUV.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “… it would probably appeal to old(er) men, …” — Admittedly, I qualify, though I am not yet at retirement age.
      “… even though their wives will complain about the lack of room in the back…” — Which my wife wouldn’t because she has even less need than I for so much room.
      “… and the marketing effort will target the youth market.” — Which is how the Soul and others ARE marketed, yet are driven as often or more so by that ‘older’ generation even now.

      And I really don’t understand why everyone thinks such vehicles are “better suited to Asia” when Asian cars have almost taken over American highways. Is not the Toyota Camry still the most popular single model in the US despite this explosion of trucks in the American market?

      — You know, it’s funny. Just last year I commented that the F-150 was the most popular vehicle in the US. Immediately, people argued that the Toyota Camry was the most popular and provided links to prove it. Now, every top-10 site I look at shows the F-150 as again the most popular. I guess some people have to argue with me no matter what I say.

      Either way, Asian cars dominate the most recent top-10 lists even though American full-sized pickups take the top three spots according to those same lists. So I’d say an Asian-sized truck could be very popular here in the States, even though they’ll never hit the Top-10. I’m tired of people making assumptions on a market that hasn’t been touched in 20 years. More than one vehicle has disrupted outdated viewpoints over just the last five years. I don’t see why this viewpoint is any less vulnerable to disruption.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Most popular as in best selling?

        The F150 has been the best selling vehicle for the entirety of 28-29 years now.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          There are those who would argue with you, Hummer, as they did me last year. I made the statement that the F-150 was the best selling VEHICLE in the US and they made the claim that the Toyota Camry was–with links to prove it. I’m not agreeing with them here, but it clearly points out that some will argue anything–especially if they’re trying to dispute a commenter without actually paying attention to what said commenter is saying.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I would like to see a link to this alleged argument.

            Oh, that’s right — you never post links, except to your own blog.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Sorry, PCH. Since I don’t keep links to every blog posting I comment on, I would waste far too much time trying to re-find it. Especially when the specific subject matter is so unimportant. On the other hand, I’ve got some doozies stored up for when you guys again say, ‘it can’t be done.’

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Right. It never happened.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You’ve been proven wrong enough times before that nobody’s going to believe you now–except your fan club.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You have a very active imagination. (Not clever, just active.)

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    I unashamedly like the look of that. However the pragmatist inside me says that the CUV version of that is much more practical and suitable for my lifestyle.

    I can use a little jacked up CUV.

    I love the look of the little toy Tonka truck but that stunted tray is pretty useless.

    I may have to shift a sofa or a 50″ LCD or some drywall or a door and thats where a CUV with the seats folded down makes sense.

    This CLEARLY does not.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    Well, I’m sure Kia Bongo / Hyundai Porter owners in Korea would like something a bit nicer. Oh yea, Ssangyong Actyon Sports owners would probably want something a little nicer as well :)

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