PARK CITY, Utah — The redesigned 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe gets several changes — starting with the name.
Hyundai is dropping Sport from the name of the smaller five-passenger version of the Santa Fe.
The brand will have one more year of selling down the three-row Santa Fe, under the name Santa Fe XL, and then will replace it with a new nameplate.
That nameplate, expected to be called Palisade, is to debut in 2019.
"When we launched the previous generation, the idea was to maximize the efficiency of our marketing," said Mike O'Brien, Hyundai Motor America's vice president of product, corporate and digital planning, during a media introduction here. "We had Veracruz, we had Santa Fe and we never spent enough money on all of our kids. One kid got the college education. The other only got a high school education.
"We thought by having a common name with Santa Fe, we would be more efficient in marketing the Sport," he said. "But we learned it was probably more confusing than efficient."
Hyundai saw the confusion as shoppers configured the vehicle online.
Entering Santa Fe into the search field took shoppers to the eight-passenger, three-row version with the longer wheelbase. Seeing the price for that model — compared with the old Santa Fe they were trading in — created confusion among buyers, O'Brien said.