- hyundai announced that it will build a compact pickup truck called the santa cruz.
- previewed as a concept model way back in 2015, the santa cruz will be assembled at hyundai's factory in alabama.
- the santa cruz will begin production in 2021, meaning it's likely to go on sale in the u.s. that year.
ever since hyundai showed the santa cruz pickup concept at the 2015 detroit auto show, the company has strongly hinted that a production model is on its way. now we have the real, official confirmation that the santa cruz will be built for real, as hyundai announced that production of this new model will begin in alabama in 2021.
the fact that the hyundai santa fe is also built at this plant suggests that the production santa cruz may share some components with that mid-size crossover. we think it will be a similar type of vehicle as the honda ridgeline, which itself is mechanically similar to the honda pilot crossover. the santa cruz concept (pictured) was a car-based pickup with a small bed and a compact cab with rear-hinged half-doors; we suspect the real thing may be a crew cab with four forward-hinged doors.
hyundai says it is investing $410 million in the plant to build the santa cruz. the planned expansion includes more stamping and welding space, and 200 additional employees will be added. hyundai also builds the sonata and elantra sedans at this facility in alabama.
further details on the production santa cruz should come late in 2020 as hyundai prepares to launch its first-ever pickup truck for the u.s. market.