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Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup Truck to Be Made in Alabama from 2021

Back in 2015, South Korean carmaker Hyundai presented the Santa Cruz Concept Compact Utility Vehicle, its first foray into a segment that is booming in the United States. Ever since that time there was news of the pickup heading into production in the near future, but to date nothing certain.
Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck concept 15 photos
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It took the Koreans quite some time to greenlight the series production, but finally an official announcement on the subject was made this week.

The Santa Cruz will enter production in the U.S. in 2021 (one year later than initially believed), at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) facility in Montgomery. That means it will roll off the same assembly lines that currently spit out the Santa Fe, Sonata and Elantra.

To get the plant ready for the brand new model, Hyundai announced a $410 million expansion project and the addition in the coming year of some 1,200 direct and indirect jobs.

“Bringing the Santa Cruz to HMMA demonstrates that Hyundai Motor Company is confident our more than 3,000 Team Members are ready to build a quality crossover for the U.S. market,” said in a statement Byungjin Jin, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.

Officially, Hyundai considers the Santa Cruz to be neither a full-fledged SUV, nor a standard pickup, but rather a blend of the two. The carmaker even believes it will usher in a new segment in the industry with this model, one meant for customers who need "the traditional attributes of a compact utility vehicle, but [also] need the day-to-day versatility of an open bed.”

For now, it’s unclear how far from the concept the production version will be in terms of design. The only images we have to work with (attached in the gallery above) are the ones of the 2015 concept.

Alongside SUVs, pickup trucks are among the best selling cars in the U.S. Last year, over 1.1 million units were sold, and there seems to be room for a lot more.

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