The Hyundai Santa Cruz compact pickup was confirmed for production today, perhaps in an effort to get ahead of next week’s L.A. Auto Show news wave. Hyundai also announced its first truck for the North American market will be built, starting in 2021, in its assembly plant in Montgomery, Ala. Doing so will require a $410 million expansion of the facility, which currently builds the Sonata and Elantra.
The key word there is “crossover,” and Hyundai stresses the Santa Cruz has the “traditional attributes of a compact utility vehicle, but 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.”
The 2.0-liter turbodiesel from the concept is likely to have been shelved due to the fallout of the emissions scandals that followed the 2015 reveal. It’s possible a diesel will be offered in other markets, like Hyundai does with the Santa Fe, though the automaker remains quiet on sales of the Santa Cruz outside of the U.S.