Hyundai Motor America has reiterated plans to introduce its first pickup model in the United States.
Product public relations manager Derek Joyce said on Tuesday that the project has been greenlighted for development, and will be inspired by the Santa Cruz concept introduced at the 2015 North American International Auto Show.
The automaker's former CEO, Dave Zuchowski, said last year that it would be on sale in 2018, but that specific timeline no longer seems to be the case.
Along with its car-like styling and all-wheel-drive system, the Santa Cruz had an innovative bed that could be extended by sliding it out like a drawer, giving it the cargo carrying capacity of a midsize pickup.
Hyundai described its target customer as an 'urban adventurer.'
As with many automakers in recent years, Hyundai’s lineup has been shifting toward utility vehicles in recent years while its car sales have been on the decline. In July in announced the elimination of its full-size Azera sedan from the American market.
Hyundai still hasn’t revealed when the pickup will go on sale or where it will be built, although the 25 percent “chicken tax” tariff on import pickups almost guarantees it will be manufactured in the NAFTA zone, unless the rule is changed as part of the Trump administration’s reset on global trade.