Pick-up truck sales have shot up within the last few years. If you look at the country's top-selling models, three of the top ten are trucks. With that, it seems Hyundai Philippines wants a slice of the market by hinting that on their Instagram page.
Hyundai just premiered its first-ever pick-up truck, the Santa Cruz. At the moment, it's for the North American market, but Hyundai Philippines might consider bringing it here. After posting a photo of it on Instagram, their caption asks, “Who wants to see the world's first Sport Adventure Vehicle (SAV) on our side of the globe?”. For us, that sounds a bit like crowdsourcing.
Should Hyundai Philippines bring it in, the Santa Cruz presents a good case for itself. For starters, pick-ups are exempt from excise taxes, so that should keep prices somewhat competitive. However, it isn't spared from the safeguard bond if it will come from the U.S assembly line. We wish Hyundai assembles this model in other parts of the world, particularly where the bond does not apply.
But if the Santa Cruz we might get does come from the U.S, it shouldn't deter them. Besides, two pick-ups in the country are imported straight from North America. These are the Ford F-150 and the RAM 1500. The top-spec F-150 in the Philippines retails for PHP 2,998,000, while the RAM 1500 starts at PHP 3,180,000. Granted, those prices aren't easily within reach for the masses, but you have to remember that these are full-sized trucks. The compact Santa Cruz might even be less than half the prices of these two behemoths.
There is no official word from Hyundai if they will offer the Santa Cruz outside North America. We reckon the South Korean automaker will relent if demand is strong enough. That said, some might be put off by a lack of a turbodiesel option. At the moment, the choices include a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a turbocharged version of the base engine.
However, the Santa Cruz rides on the same platform as the Tucson. That means a 2.0-liter turbodiesel should fit under the Santa Cruz's hood like a glove. And for those who have doubts about its payload capacity, Hyundai claims it can carry up to 770 kilograms.
Back to the Instagram post, it looks like Hyundai Philippines also wants to bring it in here. When a commenter asked if it will come here, they replied with “cross fingers”. We're keeping our fingers crossed, too.