A Proper Pickup Truck, Not Just a Santa Cruz, Is Being Considered For Production at Hyundai

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
a proper pickup truck not just a santa cruz is being considered for production at

“We’ve been talking about it for a number of years now,” Hyundai Australia’s chief operating officer, Scott Grant, said at the Genesis G70 global reveal.

No, he’s not talking about the G70, or any Genesis for that matter. He’s not talking about the H-100 pictured above. He’s not talking about the Tucson-based Hyundai Santa Cruz that finally seems destined for production after years of back-and-forth indecision.

Hyundai is now considering a true pickup truck. “We’re confident of having something on the other side of 2020,” Grant says.

Hyundai’s coming for your pickup truck market share, Nissan.

Of course, “the other side of 2020,” is not the most specific of timelines, but it’s one borne out of an otherwise predictable schedule that’s prioritizing other projects.

“About 12 months, 18 months ago, we began a study about developing a light commercial vehicle for our part of the market, as well as for what North America likes,” Hyundai Australia’s COO tells Motoring. Without KDM targeting or the global intentions of, say, the Hyundai Elantra, a HiLux/Tacoma-fighting pickup truck from Hyundai is bound to remain perpetually on the backburner.

Indeed, while Grant told Australian journalists that the Aussie subsidiary had been discussing such a project “for a number of years,” he also specified that the HQ in Seoul “has been listening, typically, but not necessarily taking a lot of action.”

That’s changed, Grant contends. While there’s no real timeline, the process of developing a proper pickup truck now involves “a far more vigorous study program in HMC [Hyundai Motor Corporation] than previously.”

“They were listening but not acting,” says Hyundai Australia’s COO. “Now they’re acting.”

In Australia, the Santa Cruz Concept isn’t believed to be capable of meeting the rugged needs of vehicles that top the sales charts. The Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger rank as Australia’s No.1 and No.2 best-selling vehicles, respectively, and in August claimed 8 percent market share, combined.

Stateside, more than eight out of every ten pickup trucks sold are Detroit nameplates, leaving little space for yet another interloper from a non-traditional pickup truck builder.

Of course, there was a time, not that long ago in the grand history of the automobile, when Hyundai owned no slice of America’s passenger car market, either.

[Image Hyundai]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Sep 23, 2017

    If you add weight to a vehicle and a tall boxy profile it will get less mpgs. That is the problem when you add two extra doors and safety equipment. There are no true compact trucks offered by the manufacturers just as there are no true mini-vans (mini-vans in name only but not mini in size).

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Sep 24, 2017

    We don't need any more "proper" pickups. We need some Rancheros and El Caminos. Ford did it first, using the compact Falcon platform, then GM made the El Camino from its mid-size Malibu platform. The modern equivalent would be a Focus-based Ranchero and a Cruze-based El Camino. Landscapers, small time haulers, and home gardeners need a replacement for their Rangers, and married men need the upscale models to avoid having to take the kids and mother-in-law to the hardware store with them. That's a big market that wouldn't impact the full size pickup market.

  • Svenmeier Speedometer display in the center console screen? Why? This is a dealbreaker for me.
  • Alan I do believe that traffic infringements penalties based on income will affect those who are financial able to flout safety regulations.When I drive above the posted speed limit I assess my situation using probability. If I'm confronted with a situation where time is of more value to me than speed I will speed if I assess the probability of a fine to be quite low. I can afford the fine, what I can't afford is the loss of points on my drivers licence.In Australia (12 points in QLD and all States have a point system) we have a points system attached to your drivers licence. An open drivers licence is granted 12 points every 3 years. So, if you receive an infringement for exceeding the speed limit it takes 3 years for the points to be removed. I generally get caught once every 2 years.I think a points system would be a fairer system over a system based on income. Its about retaining your licence and safety, not financial gain by the government.As you can see below it wouldn't take long for many US drivers to lose their drivers licence.[h2]Current penalties for individuals caught speeding[/h2]InfringementPenalty amountDemerit pointsLess than 11km/h over the speed limit$287. 1 pointAt least 11km/h but not more than 20km/h over the speed limit$431. 3 pointsMore than 20km/h but not more than 30km/h over the speed limit$646. 4 pointsMore than 30km/h but not more than 40km/h over the speed limit$1,078. 6 pointsMore than 40km/h over the speed limit$1,653. 8 points and 6 month suspension
  • Wjtinfwb Instead of raising fines, why don't the authorities enforce the laws and write tickets, and have judges enforce the penalty or sentence of a crime. I live across the street from an Elementary School on a 4-lane divided state highway. every morning the cop sits in his car and when someone sails through the School Zone well above the 10 mph limit, he merely hits his siren to get their attention but that's it. I've never, in 5 years, seen them get out of the car and actually stop and driver and confront them about speeding. As a result, no one pays attention and when the School Zone light is not lit, traffic flies by at 50-60 mph in the 45 zone. Almost no enforcement occurs until the inevitable crash, last year some zoned out girl rolled her beater Elantra 3 times. On a dry, straight, 4 lane road with a 45 mph limit. I'm no Angel and have a heavy foot myself. I've received my share of speeding tickets, lots of them when younger. Traffic enforcement in most locales has become a joke these days, jacking prices because someone has a higher income in as asinine as our stupid tax policy and non-existent immigration enforcement.
  • Jeff S If AM went away I would listen to FM but since it is insignificant in the cost to the car and in an emergency broadcast it is good to have. I agree with some of the others its another way to collect money with a subscription. AM is most likely to go away in the future but I will use AM as long as its around.
  • BEPLA I think it's cool the way it is.If I had the money, time and space - I'd buy it, clean it up, and just do enough to get it running properly.Then take it to Cars and Coffee and park it next to all the newer Mustangs.