On the Hyundai Santa Cruz (In response to a comment on Pickuptrucks.com)

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The Hyundai Santa Cruz concept — image courtesy Hyundai Motors
A commenter on pickup trucks dot com stated: Stuck between giant rigs used as “lifestyle vehicles” and cute toys like this, there must be room in the market for a real work truck stripped down for contractors and farmers that is not gargantuan.”

Now personally I’d love to see a less toy-like compact utility truck. The problem is that the aerodynamic issue alone means that it needs a much more sweeping front end than the old truck so you’re not pushing a brick wall through the air. That alone means the lines of the truck need to be ‘softer’ and less aggressive. This hyundai isn’t perfect as evidenced by all the negativity about it. but for those who don’t need heavy hauling or towing capacity but instead just an open-air flat bed for carrying things taller than thirty inches or so it’s the closest thing to ideal as we will see in this country–until and if it takes off and rebuilds the small truck market as I believe it can.

There are those who disagree adamantly with me. But for many reasons that have nothing to do with public opinion and everything to do with legislation over the years, the so called mid-sized trucks grew right beside their full-sized brethren to the point that those trucks are now as large as their now-antique full-sized brothers. Heh. I guess you could say the kids are growing up while daddy’s getting fat and lazy. (Think about it.) It’s time for a new generation of truly compact and mid-sized trucks (compact as relates to Chevy Equinox or Ford Edge; mid-sized as relates to mid-sized SUVs like the Chevy Traverse or Ford Explorer).

The interesting thing is that both GM and FCA each have two models already on the market just outside of the NAFTA zone which would meet that need but it’s taking a third party actually willing to take a chance to break the ice. Will it work? I think so. But too many who simply don’t understand where such a truck CAN fit in the market insist otherwise.

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