Hyundai has confirmed that it will launch a pickup in the U.S.
Michael O'Brien, head of corporate and product planning at Hyundai's U.S. unit, told Reuters that Hyundai's top management has given the green light to development of a pickup similar to a show vehicle called the Santa Cruz that U.S. Hyundai executives unveiled in 2015.
Separately, sources have told Automotive News that when the pickup arrives in 2019 or 2020 it will be smaller and have more of an urban emphasis than Honda's Ridgeline.
Hyundai's pickup is part of a broader plan to shift away from sedans. Hyundai will launch the Kona subcompact crossover in the U.S. this year and plans to launch three other new or freshened crossovers by 2020, according to sources.
Hyundai plans to roll out a new version of its Santa Fe Sport midsize crossover next year, followed by a new seven-passenger crossover that will replace a current three-row Santa Fe in early 2019 in the U.S. A redesigned Tucson crossover is expected in 2020, people familiar with Hyundai's plans told Reuters.
Hyundai's U.S. dealers have pushed the company to invest more aggressively in light trucks as demand for sedans such as the midsize Sonata and the smaller Elantra has waned.