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Hyundai Santa Cruz pick-up definitely happening, but still two years away

The Hyundai Santa Cruz, revealed as a concept back in 2015, is still two years away from production
Andrew Chesterton
Contributing journalist

18 Apr 2019 • 3 min read

The Hyundai Santa Cruz pick-up revealed at the Detroit Motor Show back in 2015 is still two years away from production, with the company's American executives saying they're still "working on it every day".

While it is understood Hyundai is also beavering away on a genuine mid-size ute, something to act as a genuine rival to the Toyota HiLux, the company is still eagerly awaiting the arrival of the "lifestyle" pick-up that was revealed at the Detroit Motor Show.

But that car, while green-lit, is still two years away, having been replaced on the build queue by the brand's ever-growing SUV family.

“This market is a truck market, so we would love more product. We have a huge market for trucks,” says Hyundai's North America CEO, Brian Smith. “And there’s a huge market for small pick-up trucks, I just would like us to have one soon.

"Every company is strapped for resources, and we’re prioritising the most important models for each market. (But) the Santa Cruz is being worked on every day. We don’t have any firm dates, times or pricing.

"What’s exciting about it is that we have the opportunity to do something that isn’t being done right now."

While the Santa Cruz is locked in for a USA debut, it's previously been comprehensively ruled out for Australia, with Hyundai’s former COO, Scott Grant, telling CarsGuide in 2017; "I can give you a quick answer: there is no plan for Australia for the Santa Cruz ute."

But hope is not lost for a Hyundai ute Down Under. The Australian company's requests for a genuine HiLux rival is understood to be an ongoing project.

“We’ve been taking about it for a number of years now, and HMC (Hyundai Motor Corporation) has been listening, but not necessarily taking a lot of action due to priorities in other markets and other developments and so forth,” Mr Grant said, back in 2017.

"About 12 to 18 months ago, HMC began studying about developing a light commercial vehicle for our part of the market, as well as for what North America likes. And you’ve seen the developments in North America (the Santa Cruz).

"Our market program is still in development. We’re confident of having something on the other side of 2020. But there’s no official launch plan at this moment."

Would the Santa Cruz work in Australia? Tell us in the comments below.