7/10/2019 | 1 MINUTE READ

Hyundai Readies Compact Pickup for U.S.

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The highly styled small pickup truck Hyundai Motor Co. has been developing for the American market will be built in the U.S. when it launches in about 2021.

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The highly styled small pickup truck Hyundai Motor Co. has been developing for the American market will be built in the U.S. when it launches less than two years from now.

Michael O’Brien, who heads Hyundai product planning in North America, notes that local production is necessary to avoid the 25% tariff the U.S. has been imposing for years on foreign-made trucks. Hyundai operates an assembly plant in Montgomery, Ala., and its Kia Motors affiliate does the same in West Point, Ga.

O’Brien tells Bloomberg News that the new truck will be unusually versatile and has been designed to lure non-traditional truck buyers.

Hyundai unveiled the pickup in prototype form (pictured) as the Santa Cruz at the Detroit auto show in 2015. That version has rear-hinged second-row doors.

The company’s design chief told Motor Trend in February that the often-delayed truck will debut in about 2021. A variant for Kia may follow.

The pickup is expected to share a unitized chassis with Hyundai’s next-generation Tucson crossover. The coupelike truck will feature two rows of seats and rear-hinged second-row doors. A short cargo bed with a sliding tailgate extender is intended to help make the vehicle attractive to urban dwellers who are not traditional truck customers.