By Carl Malek
In a statement released to reporters at the New York Auto Show, Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik revealed that the 2013 Santa Fe will formally replace the Hyundai Veracruz when the latter ceases production “around November.” Hyundai formally revealed the all-new 2013 Santa Fe last Wednesday, showcasing the new model in both five- and seven-passenger variants for the assembled media.
When the Hyundai Veracruz was originally introduced to the market in 2007, it was supposed to help give the Korean automaker a formidable competitor in the seven passenger CUV segment. Unfortunately, the model did not achieve mainstream acceptance in the U.S market after its release, and sales of the Veracruz were lukewarm at best during its time in production. “It’s hard to establish a new brand name” Krafcik stated “It can take $50 to 100 million dollars. Santa Fe is a golden nameplate for us, it’s a great product, and now it will be much more efficient in my marketing spend.” In addition to the aforementioned increase in marketing efficiency, the company will also be producing a much more efficient vehicle, since the differences between the five- and seven-passenger Santa Fes are very minimal, especially when one looks forward of the B pillar, versus producing two completely different models.
Lastly, the redesigned exterior of the 2013 Santa Fe will finally allow the vehicle to fit in the brand’s current “Fluidic Sculpture” design language. First revealed on the Sonata and Elantra sedans, the Hyundai design language has received acclaim from both consumers and the automotive press. The Veracruz, which didn’t really have a design language to speak of, no longer fit into the brand’s current lineup.
With the demise of the Veracruz,a expect the 2013 Santa Fe to be a much more versatile entry when it arrives at Hyundai dealers later this year.