Hyundai Reveals Cute Ute Concept

Hyundai Reveals Cute Ute Concept
 

Hyundai is testing reaction to a small bakkie aimed at young urban consumers.

Detroit Hosts Annual North American International Auto Show

The Santa Cruz concept has been in development for two and a half years and would be at least three years away from production if consumer reaction continues to be positive, Dave Zuchowski, president of Hyundai Motor America, told reporters. The model is based on the same chassis design as the ix35 sport-utility vehicle, he said. Small SUVs are sometimes called cute utes.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz crossover concept truck is displayed during the first press preview day of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit

“We’re not into ploughing the same old groove as everyone else,” Zuchowski told reporters after the diminutive silver pick-up was shown to reporters today at the Detroit Motor Show.

Detroit Hosts Annual North American International Auto Show

The smaller Santa Cruz is aimed at buyers who can’t afford the cost of the average pick-up, said Mike O’Brien, vice president of corporate and product planning for Hyundai Motor America. Because of the costs and other limitations, 80% of buyers won’t consider a pick-up, he said.

As “urban adventurers” move into cities, they are plagued by tighter parking and other restrictions that make larger pick-ups impractical, said Mark Dipko, director of corporate planning for Hyundai Motor America.

The all-wheel-drive prototype, which can hold five passengers, is designed to get fuel economy in the 9l/100km range, Dipko said. The small pick-up bed has a hard cover that encloses the cargo, Hyundai said. Buyers under 30 represent just 7% of pickup customers, Dipko said. “Clearly there are customers out there the current market is not serving, It’s a vehicle for the next frontier and the urban adventurers who are leading the way,” he said.

Jeff Green

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 12: Hyundai reveals the Santa Cruz concept to the media at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on January 12, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. More than 5000 journalists from around the word will see approximately 45 new vehicles unveiled during the 2015 NAIAS, which opens to the public January 17 and concludes January 25.   Bill Pugliano/Getty Images/AFP
== FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY ==The Hyundai Santa Cruz crossover concept truck is displayed during the first press preview day of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan January 12, 2015.   REUTERS/Rebecca Cook (UNITED STATES  - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS)DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 12: Mark Dipko, Hyundai Motors America Director of Corporate Planning, reveals the Santa Cruz concept to the media at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on January 12, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. More than 5000 journalists from around the word will see approximately 45 new vehicles unveiled during the 2015 NAIAS, which opens to the public January 17 and concludes January 25.   Bill Pugliano/Getty Images/AFP
== FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY ==A Hyundai Motor Co. Santa Cruz crossover truck concept vehicle is unveiled during the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 12, 2015. The Sonata hybrid is expected to travel up to 22 miles on electric power and can recharge in as little as two and a half hours with a Level 2 charger. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg