“It’ll be a very versatile vehicle,” Michael O’Brien, vice president of product, corporate and digital planning for Hyundai’s US unit, said in an interview. “That has the promise of creating a whole new class of buyers.”
|Hyundai Motor‘s Santa Cruz crossover truck concept vehicle unveiled at the 2015 Detroit motor show. (Hyundai Motor)|
Hyundai would need to manufacture the truck in North America to avoid the 25% tariff on imported trucks. O’Brien strongly suggested the company will opt to produce the new pickup in the US -- where the majority of the vehicles will be sold -- to avoid political controversy.
“It would have to be made in North America,” he said, while also noting that automakers who have chosen to produce new vehicles in Mexico have drawn the wrath of US President Donald Trump.
Hyundai already produces the Elantra and Sonata sedans and the Santa Fe crossover at its factory in Montgomery, Alabama, which has the capacity to make about 400,000 vehicles a year. Its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. assembles the Telluride, Sorento and Optima models at a factory in West Point, Georgia, and manufactures 340,000 vehicles a year. (Bloomberg)