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Automobiles

Hyundai Santa Cruz to challenge Ford Maverick in US pickup market

Presale orders show half of Hyundai’s scheduled 2021 production is already sold out

By Jun 21, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

The Hyundai Santa Cruz
The Hyundai Santa Cruz

Hyundai Motor Co.’s upcoming Santa Cruz pickup is challenging US truck giant Ford Motor Co.'s Maverick even before the South Korean automaker’s first model for the American market hits the retail dealers. 

According to a recent Fox News report, Jose Munoz, the Hyundai North America president and chief executive, said the Santa Cruz compact pickup is on track to sell out for the year, although its price hasn’t been announced yet.

“I’m sure we’re going to have a good result because we put this truck on presale starting last month and we have already sold out 50% of the total production foreseen for this year,” Munoz told the US media outlet.

The Hyundai North America chief didn’t say how many pickup trucks the automaker plans to build at its plant in Montgomery, Alabama. The Santa Cruz is set to go on sale this summer.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz
The Hyundai Santa Cruz

Some analysts have predicted the number is in the neighborhood of 30,000.

Ford Motor said last week that it has 36,000 reservations for the similarly sized 2022 Maverick pickup that will begin production in Mexico this fall.

In the US, Ford is the largest pickup truck maker with sales of about 880,000 units in 2020, followed by General Motors Co. (690,000 cars) and Stellantis, which sold 560,000 units of pickup trucks under the Ram brand.

APPEALING TO YOUNG, FEMALE DRIVERS

Industry watchers said the Hyundai Santa Cruz will likely appeal to young, female drivers who favor smaller pickups over full-size ones, competing head to head with the Ford Maverick in the segment.

The Ford Maverick
The Ford Maverick

The Maverick will have a base price of $21,490 and come standard with a 181 horsepower front-wheel-drive powertrain. An all-wheel-drive version with a 250 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine will also be available.

The Santa Cruz comes standard with front-wheel-drive, but all-wheel-drive is optional along with the choice of either a 180 horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or 275 horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz
The Hyundai Santa Cruz

According to industry data, Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp., the two automaking units of Hyundai Motor Group, sold more cars overall in the US than Ford Motor in May, overtaking the American auto giant in sales for the first time.

That marked the first time the Korean duo has outsold the second-largest US auto giant in America since Hyundai entered the market 35 years ago.

Write to Hyung-Kyu Kim at khk@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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