Hyundai’s Santa Cruz pickup truck is coming to America, and it will also be built in America. The South Korean Automaker announced today that Santa Cruz production will begin in 2021 at the company’s Montgomery, Alabama assembly plant.
“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 Byungjin Jin, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.
We officially have a production timeframe and location for the much-anticipated truck – a machine that Hyundai is keen to call a compact utility vehicle – but we still don’t know what it will look like. The world was shown the Santa Cruz concept way back in 2015 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but since then we’ve had nary a teaser to go on. Our exclusive rendering at the top of this article builds on the concept’s shape, but a report from earlier in 2019 suggests the production model could look significantly different.
Gallery: 2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept
As for other details, a recent report stated the small pickup would not be a unibody design, but instead take a Hyundai Truck To Be Serious Truck On A Ladder-Frame Chassis similar to what you’d find on a full-size pickup from Detroit. That means a four-wheel-drive version is almost a certainty, and the Santa Cruz could be offered in various cab formats. Of course, much of this is merely rumor at this point, but the talk does emanate from Hyundai officials.
With production slated to begin in 2021, we should expect to see Santa Cruz prototypes on the road pretty soon. With the return of the Ford Ranger and the 2019 Jeep Gladiator expanding the midsize truck segment in America, there’s certainly some competition awaiting Hyundai’s new offering.
Hyundai Santa Cruz to Be Built at Montgomery, Alabama Plant
- A $410 million expansion project will prepare Hyundai’s U.S. automotive assembly plant to build the vehicle in 2021
- The project will add 1,200 new direct and indirect jobs
Montgomery, Ala. November 13, 2019 – Today, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) announced the Santa Cruz compact utility vehicle will join the Santa Fe SUV and the Sonata and Elantra sedans at Hyundai’s U.S. automotive assembly plant in Montgomery, starting in 2021. The Santa Cruz was first introduced as a concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The plant will require a $410 million expansion to support the addition of the vehicle. This includes additional space in the stamping, welding and parts processing areas of the manufacturing complex. Direct employment will increase by 200 jobs and local suppliers and logistics companies who support HMMA are projected to employ an additional 1,000 people in Montgomery and the River Region.
“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 Byungjin Jin, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.
Santa Cruz is for those who want all the traditional attributes of a compact utility vehicle, but need the day-to-day versatility of an open bed. It’s the crossover that creates a whole new segment that successfully combines capability and utility to meet the unspoken needs of a new generation of buyers, especially Millennials.
“Alabama and Hyundai have developed a great partnership over the years, and it’s a testament to our special relationship that this world-class automaker is expanding once again in Montgomery,” Governor Ivey said. “Hyundai’s new investment is giving more Alabama families an opportunity to earn a good living while also strengthening the state’s growing auto industry.”
“I recently had the honor of experiencing first-hand the long-standing partnership between Hyundai and Montgomery on a visit to Seoul as part of an economic development delegation including former Mayor Todd Strange,” said Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed. “With the addition of the Santa Cruz, Hyundai is again choosing to launch a new vision. I look forward to continuing to strengthen this vital relationship in the coming years and working with our partners to support this tremendous investment.”
HMMA, which started vehicle production in May 2005, is the River Region’s largest private manufacturer with 2,900 full-time and 500 part-time employees. In 14 and one-half years the plant has produced 4.5 million vehicles for the North American market.
“Our commitment to our partnership with Hyundai continues to deepen, and we are so honored by this significant investment,” said Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean. “Together, we are charting the course for success and opportunity in the River Region.”
Among U.S. states, Alabama is already the fifth largest producer of cars and light trucks. The state has more than 150 major auto suppliers and 57,000 automotive manufacturing jobs.
“We are so honored that in just 18 months HMMA has invested over $1.1 billion in the Montgomery area,” said Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman Willie Durham. “Partnership and teamwork are key to this kind of economic growth and we are grateful for the impact this kind of investment will have on the entire region.”