Since the 2015 debut of the Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept rumors have swirled about the prospects of the first Hyundai pickup truck in North America. Finally, Hyundai has formally confirmed the Santa Cruz’s production, which will commence at its Montgomery, Alabama assembly plant in 2021.
The production announcement stems from the $410 million investment the Santa Cruz is causing at the company’s Alabama assembly plant. The expansion of the plant that currently produces the Elantra and Sonata will create “1,200 new direct and indirect jobs” according to Hyundai.
Hyundai has gone so far to confirm some details regarding the Santa Cruz, specifically calling it a crossover. The choice of words suggests the Santa Cruz is going to be positioned as entering a new market segment, versus tackling the traditional midsize pickup trucks found at Ford, GM, Toyota and Nissan dealerships.
“Santa Cruz is for those who want all the traditional attributes of a compact utility vehicle, but need the day-to-day versatility of an open bed. It’s the crossover that creates a whole new segment that successfully combines capability and utility to meet the unspoken needs of a new generation of buyers, especially Millennials,” Hyundai stated in a press release.
Hyundai is certainly hinting that the Santa Cruz is going to be a compact vehicle, indicating it may end up smaller than today’s Honda Ridgeline, which is also based on a unibody architecture like the Santa Cruz.
Given production of the Santa Cruz is not slated to start until 2021, one can plausibly assume it will be part of the 2022 model year. Expect further details on the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz to rollout next year.