Leisure Wheels (South Africa) - - NEWS -

Hyundai ex­ec­u­tives have pur­port­edly given the green light to de­velop a pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the Santa Cruz bakkie con­cept. This was con­firmed by Hyundai Mo­tor Amer­ica’s vice pres­i­dent of cor­po­rate and prod­uct plan­ning, Michael J O’Brien, in an in­ter­view with Reuters. He stated that the bakkie will be of­fered in the United States, but did not give a time­line as to when it will ar­rive.

This will be the first time the com­pany is ven­tur­ing into the com­pet­i­tive bakkie mar­ket in the United States. This de­ci­sion comes as part of broader plan to move away from sedans in one of the Korean au­tomaker’s most im­por­tant mar­kets.

The Santa Cruz con­cept was po­si­tioned as a life­style ve­hi­cle sim­i­lar to the Honda Ridge­line (avail­able in the US), but no more details have been given about the pro­duc­tion ver­sion.

As part of Hyundai’s fu­ture plans, Reuter’s re­ported that an all-new seven-seat cross­over will re­place the Santa Fe in the US in early 2019. A re­designed Tuc­son is ex­pected by 2020.

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