Could Hyundai Be the Next Major Midsize Player?

Hyundai Santa Cruz 1 II

Given the current success of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline — it sold around 3,500 units in July and performed well in our 2016 Midsize Pickup Challenge — you can bet other manufacturers are going to seriously consider or push ahead with plans for a "lifestyle" pickup.

According to Motor Trend, Hyundai has confirmed that it will offer a car-based pickup truck (most likely sharing one of Hyundai's crossover platforms) that's likely to look much like the concept Santa Cruz we saw at the 2015 Detroit and Chicago auto shows.

Internal reports at Hyundai suggest that a pickup with the right proportions of style and capability could sell as many as 50,000 to 70,000 units; of course, that assumes that the economy and auto industry remain strong, and fuel prices stay low. To complicate matters and avoid the additional tax imposed on imported trucks, Hyundai would have to find significant production capacity in one of its three North American facilities. Additionally, it would likely have to price the new midsize pickup in the $20,000-to-$25,000 range to make it as attractive as a sedan, crossover or SUV.

Both Ford and Jeep plan to deliver midsize pickups to the segment by 2018 or 2019. Combined with a Hyundai lifestyle pickup — possibly offered with a diesel or hybrid powertrain — the midsize pickup segment could offer buyers a wide variety of choices to fit almost any need. More to come.

Cars.com photos by Mark Williams

 

Hyndai Santa Cruz Rear

 

 

Comments

Fiat has talked about possibly bringing the Strada in to the states but emissions is holding it up... it is more of a Mini then a mid

If so, it would be much more reliable than the gm twins

I feel like Goldilocks. All the big ones are too big, and the little ones are too little.

I'd love this as a replacement for our old C-RV (I dig El Caminos, btw). But it's never going to tow 8K pounds...and a Hyundai won't look this cool when it appears in showrooms.

If they build that truck but give it the ability for a real back seat area for people it will sell. Has a great look to it with function.

I am hoping this and the Fiat Toro are more the size of the old 80s Ranger and S10 than the size of the current midsize. A true compact would be more than welcome.


LMAO,
Why does it need back seats? It might be used as an extra cab. Lots of people through their belongings and shopping in the back of extra cabs and twins.


Posted by: WildWilly | Aug 25, 2016 2:32:49 PM

Because the majority of trucks sold are four doors. The majority of people do not roll around in a 2 seater truck anymore. You want room for gear and friends. You can have the option for 2 people but a good 4-5 seater truck will sell much better.

Midsize player? It was supposed to be compact.

LMAO,
The majority of trucks sold are also full size. This hasn't stopped the massive growth of the midsize market, far outstripping full size growth.

Better not become involved in product planning and marketing.

Thirty years ago there was no market for Smart phones.

Markets evolve. What is new can sometimes be what is old.

So my friend in Montgomery may be correct. All the activity going on at the Hyundai plant all but confirms that a Hyundai pickup is on its way. He works for a Hyundai supplier in Montgomery. Hopefully he can tell me more.


LMAO,
The majority of trucks sold are also full size. This hasn't stopped the massive growth of the midsize market, far outstripping full size growth.

Better not become involved in product planning and marketing.

Thirty years ago there was no market for Smart phones.

Markets evolve. What is new can sometimes be what is old.

Posted by: WildWilly | Aug 25, 2016 3:51:58 PM

I have yet to see a 2 seater midsize. The market is the majority of people buying vehicles designed around hauling more than 2 people around with gear. This is the current market place. SUVs are growing leaps and bounds because they hold people and gear and can do some light towing. Small cars are the minority. 2 seater vehicles are the minority. The current midsize trucks are pretty much the same size trucks of 10 years ago while full size trucks are mammoths. My current F150 has much more room than my Superduty I drive for work.

For Korea to win with this idea it has to be an improvement on the Nissan, Tacoma and the GM trucks, not a departure.

If Kia/Hyundai came out with a truck that parallels the GM midsize twins, it would be a huge hit. Offer it with an extended cab and a crew. Forget the 2 seats.

They would need to deliver great quality and offer a fleet model aka work truck at the same price the current fleet Nissan sells for. Huge hit.

By the way the two seater is my favorite personally but it would not sell in large numbers.

"If so, it would be much more reliable than the gm twins"

@ Nitro,care to elaborate on that?

Hyundai re-invents the Subaru Brat!

If they build that truck but give it the ability for a real back seat area for people it will sell. Has a great look to it with function.

Posted by: LMAO | Aug 25, 2016 1:29:34 PM

I couldn't agree more.

@Donald Erickson

you nailed it. Subaru Brat. Which was a great little truck with bad timing. The Gen 2 Brat had Subie's cool pancake motor and killer AWD.

Hard to imagine Subaru doing it again though. They are selling CUVs like the Outback and Forester faster than they can make 'em. And a 2 seater sports car.

If Subaru built a sporty new 2 seat mini truck on the sports car platform they share with Scion and market it to the college student crowd in places like New Hamshire and Oregon, who knows?

papa jim,
How come the Ridgeline is successful? It's a departure from the traditional pickup?

There is a market for this cute vehicle. It might be huge, but it is there.

How are the GM midsize twins not reliable? I have the previous 2 generations and they have been very reliable.

On other forums it says they are going to make this "truck".

Just like the Blazer is going to be built next to the GM twins

I will be interested when Hyundai fixes their numb steering. Also, the Santa Cruz is currently designed as a compact, a segment that has no other competitors at the moment.

Compact pickup. Compact pickup. Enough with the midsize. We have plenty of them now especially with ford bringing the ranger, possibly jeep and maybe others. I'm not interested in any of these pseudo trucks unless i can get a 4x4 for UNDER $25,000 to have in addition to my full size. Today i went for an afternoon drive to the mountains with my wife and kids and dogs and i was looking at a tacoma parked where we were. That thing wouldn't fit what we need just for a drive to the mountains for one afternoon. Let alone camping, fishing, or hunting with any more than two people. I understand there are single guys or couples with no kids and few friends that might find these acceptable, but i just won't pay 40k for a truck that severely limits what i can do.

Bebee,
Why do you need to buy one? I don't think you as one person and your comment will sway companies like Honda and Hyundai.

It appears you are a one of those short sighted full size people.

Pickups have become the car or CUV. So why not offer as many variations of a the pickup as possible?

How many different cars types and manufacturers are there? You have station wagons, sedans, sports cars, hatches, front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive. Cars have so much on offer and they are only twenty percent of the market as well.

Pickups are around one fifth of all light vehicles sold. I'd say there is room for another ten pickups manufacturers.

Why isn't there other pickups in the US other than a few manufacturers anyway? What's stopping VW or Mitsubishi from importing their pickups?

On the news Toyota has a tough looking off road pickup that's not a Hilux. These would sell here in America.

@papajim
Suzuki Brat sized Pickup is not going to make much of an impact. Hyundai needs a " 1 Tonne" Global Pickup and they are the only major manufacturer that does not have one.

Mitsubishi says that the reason they can’t import their pickup, the Triton/L200, is because of the Chicken Tax. See the interview with Motortrend: http://www.motortrend.com/news/mitsubishi-vice-president-mirage-evo-crossover-pickup/

I would love to have that Mitsubishi Triton here since it is much smaller than the new midsize trucks (actually, it is about the same size as the last U.S. Ranger). Sadly, I do not think it or its Fiat Fullback twin will ever make it to the U.S., and there will likely not be a next generation of Triton since Nissan now controls Mitsubishi and any future Mitsubishi pickup would be a Navara derivative rather than being its own unique vehicle.

Wildwilly missed the point entirely. Sure there is a market for mid size. As I said. Mostly single guys or old people who don't have much stuff or family or friends to carry around. What i would like is MORE variety of pickups. Including a cheap compact truck. I'm sure there is much less market for a compact, but we have plenty of mid size options now.

http://www.allpar.com/omni/rampage/scamp-rampage.html

Here you go.

"For Korea to win with this idea it has to be an improvement on the Nissan, Tacoma and the GM trucks, not a departure.

If Kia/Hyundai came out with a truck that parallels the GM midsize twins, it would be a huge hit. Offer it with an extended cab and a crew. Forget the 2 seats.
They would need to deliver great quality and offer a fleet model aka work truck at the same price the current fleet Nissan sells for. Huge hit.
By the way the two seater is my favorite personally but it would not sell in large numbers."
-- Posted by: papa jim | Aug 25, 2016 5:42:08 PM

I disagree, Papa Jim; a full-on departure from the established 'norm' is exactly what Hyundai and others need. Such a truck would by no means be intended to compete with larger trucks but rather with the far more car-like CUV/SUV, only opening the bed to carry things those CUV/SUVs can't carry. I'm personally a fan of the concept as it sits but truly prefer the Fiat Toro instead because it has a little better overall design and is already available in Central and South America. ( http://www.topspeed.com/trucks/truck-reviews/fiat/2017-fiat-toro-ar171493.html )

@Roadwhale

I don't care what you (or me) prefer. I was trying to make an objective statement--you should try it sometime.

You seem to believe that something you happen to like will be a big hit in the market. You never seem to cite reasons for this notion, it's just your assertion.

Hyundai and Kia have been on target in their big corporate decisions during the last ten years--both in terms of operational success, and popularity in the market.

People are slowly moving away from mid size to full size cars. The consumer wants comfort and utility, both of which are offered with the various offerings of SUV, crossover and more recently mid size pick-ups. Hyundai may have just created a game changer that will put even more pressure on the car market, specifically, the base level pony car market. Lets face it, people buying base level pony cars are doing so mainly for style as they are not performance oriented. This Hyundai exudes style and offers utility and we all know that style sells. Hyundai may market this as a sport truck aimed at stealing would be pony car buyers and just car buyers in general.

People are actually moving away from midsize and full size cars into pickups, crossovers, and suvs. The market share for sedans has been steadily decreasing. Many cars on the market are harder to get in and out of with smaller windows making them harder to see out of. Full size and midsize trucks will continue to grow market share especially in the crew cab configuration as an alternative to the sedan.

Owned both a 1983 Plymouth Scamp GT and 2 Subaru Bajas (1 sport and 1 turbo). All I can say is that they were the funnest vehicles I've ever had. The Scamp had issues with the carburetor that I could never quite get fixed, but there were no problems at all with the Subies. They need crucks like these for oddballs like us. If the Hyundai looks pretty close to that concept, I think they'll have a definite niche winner.

@Roadwhale
I don't care what you (or me) prefer. I was trying to make an objective statement--you should try it sometime.
You seem to believe that something you happen to like will be a big hit in the market. You never seem to cite reasons for this notion, it's just your assertion.
Hyundai and Kia have been on target in their big corporate decisions during the last ten years--both in terms of operational success, and popularity in the market."
-- Posted by: papa jim | Aug 26, 2016 6:57:18 PM

Objective Statement: I am NOT the only person hoping for a true, compact, pickup truck and I am NOT the only person who believes a crew cab is more than enough truck for those people. Something like this Hyundai or the Fiat Toro is a remarkable package when light hauling ability is needed but not the full capabilities of a purpose-built, hauling/towing, body-on-frame pickup truck. The simple fact that CUVs are so popular right now should tell you there is enormous demand for something smaller than even the Canyon/Colorado. The simple fact that only Hyundai is willing to even attempt the market means GM and Ford are afraid for their existing vehicles if such a rig were to hit the dealerships.

This is not to say the Hyundai would have any noticeable effect on full-size sales for those OEMs but it could have a notable effect on the CUV market into which everybody has put so much money. Such a rig could increase the overall pickup market to the point that 50% of ALL vehicle sales could be open-bed 'trucks' just as 50% of all vehicles sales are now taken by closed-bed 'trucklets.'

"People are slowly moving away from mid size to full size cars. The consumer wants comfort and utility, both of which are offered with the various offerings of SUV, crossover and more recently mid size pick-ups. Hyundai may have just created a game changer that will put even more pressure on the car market, specifically, the base level pony car market. Lets face it, people buying base level pony cars are doing so mainly for style as they are not performance oriented. This Hyundai exudes style and offers utility and we all know that style sells. Hyundai may market this as a sport truck aimed at stealing would be pony car buyers and just car buyers in general."
-- Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Aug 26, 2016 9:00:18 PM

Disagree. Most seem to be moving away from full-sized cars either into full-sized trucks or mid-sized and compact CUV/SUVs. All you have to do is look at the many diifferent reports of the top-selling brands and models and note how those 'station wagons on steroids' have become the single most popular type of vehicle made and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Suburban, Expedition, etc. are NOT among the top selling models when compared to the rest of the type. Yes, they do well for their brands, but others, with the possible exception of Jeep, tend to do better within their brands. A true compact or even sub-compact truck would address an otherwise completely un-tapped market in the US.



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