Hyundai Santa Cruz could get green light this year

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The market for smaller trucks is gaining steam in the United States with introductions like the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and the forthcoming, updated Toyota Tacoma. After the enthusiastic reaction to the Hyundai HCD-15 Santa Cruz concept at 2015 Detroit Auto Show, that pickup is looking increasingly likely to see production, as well.

“There is a very high probability we get the approval of the truck soon,” Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski said to the TheDetroitBureau.com. Customer surveys have shown the possible pickup to be quite popular around the country, except among Texans, according to Zuchowski. However, the final sign-off still needs to come from corporate headquarters in South Korea.

The production Santa Cruz might be very different from the vehicle on the stand in Detroit. The concept was just there to gauge reactions, and the company hadn’t even decided on a platform at that time. The slide-out bed extension was thought to be possible in the real world, but there were reportedly still other hurdles to overcome.

The unibody pickup isn’t the only project Hyundai is developing for North America. The automaker also wants to step into the expanding compact crossover market with an entry specifically designed for this market. “This is a growth segment,” Zuchowski told TheDetroitBureau.com. “We want a piece of it.”

While neither of these new models are fully approved yet, it certainly looks like Hyundai intends to be a bigger player in the truck and crossover world in the coming years.

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