Kona and Tucson could also carry the "Made in USA" label.
Hyundai took the wraps off the Santa Cruz concept nearly three years ago in Detroit, but details regarding a production version are still quite limited at this point. New info has emerged this week as South Korea’s Seoul Economic Daily is reporting the utilitarian vehicle could be manufactured in the United States in a bid to boost local sales, which haven’t been that great lately (15% decrease in October).
For the same reason, the Kona and Tucson crossovers could also be built in the U.S. at the company’s Alabama factory where the Elantra and Sonata sedans come to life together with the Santa Fe SUV. This piece of info comes from “anonymous industry officials” cited by Seoul Economic Daily. Contacted by Reuters, a Hyundai spokesperson said: “We are always considering the possibilities of all products in individual markets.”
Should the pair of crossovers and the yet-unnamed pickup truck hit the assembly line in the U.S., it means Hyundai will have to upgrade its Alabama factory from the current annual capacity of 380,000 vehicles to around 450,000 units, according to the same report. The decision to build the pickup truck and the Tucson in the same place would make sense considering the former has already been confirmed to use the same platform as the CUV.
As far as the Kona is concerned, small crossovers are becoming increasingly popular and Hyundai certainly wants to capitalize on the growing demand by producing it in Alabama rather than importing the vehicles from Ulsan, South Korea. It’s a known fact that a pure electric version is due in 2018, though it’s too soon to say whether this one will be put together in the U.S. as well.
Source: Seoul Economic Daily via Reuters