Hyundai CEO Confirms: Santa Cruz Pickup Truck Is Headed For Production

If you were a big fan of the Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck concept, then we have good news for you. The truck is going into production, and it's only a matter of time before Hyundai makes the official announcement.

Speaking to Australian press at the Detroit Auto Show, Hyundai USA CEO Dave Zuchowski said that he was still waiting on a decision for when the official announcement would be made but that there isn't a question of whether or not the Santa Cruz is going to head to production.

"What's the easiest way to say that? We're waiting more for an announcement than we are for an approval, right? HMC [Hyundai Korea head office] is going to dictate [when that happens, but] we feel really good about it. It hasn't been officially announced yet. Our timing is not crossing our fingers and waiting for approval, it's trying to figure out when we're going to announce it,"Zuchowski told the reporters.

This isn't unexpected, as we already pretty much knew a production Santa Cruz was going to happen, but it's encouraging to hear from the CEO that we'll be hearing an official announcement soon.

In production form, we expect the Santa Cruz to only offer one configuration—a four-door, SUV-based pickup with an extendable bed and seating for five. As far as towing capacity goes, it should be able to pull a jet ski or a couple dirtbikes, but don't expect it to pull more than 2,500 pounds. Its capabilities are intended to be more in line with a compact crossover, after all, not a full-size pickup truck.

"Santa Cruz is intended to attract CUV [SUV] and sedan buyers who are seeking greater utility, without the compromises that traditional trucks often require," Zuchowski told reporters.

If that target demographic sounds similar to the one Honda is looking to attract with the new Honda Ridgeline, it is, but the two trucks likely won't be direct competitors—we expect the Santa Cruz to be both smaller and cheaper than the Honda car/truck. 

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