Hyundai maintains it can barely build enough of its core models to satisfy North American consumers, but that doesn't mean it isn't keen to expand its offerings to capture developing segments of the market. According to Edmunds, one of those expanding niches could be the burgeoning subcompact crossover segment. The website quotes Hyundai North America president and CEO John Krafcik as acknowledging his company is "very under-represented" in crossovers, the market's hottest vehicle type.
With the discontinuation of the Veracruz, Hyundai is down to two CUV nameplates, Tucson (pictured) and Santa Fe, the latter of which covers two segments with a two-row Sport and long-wheelbase three-row model. And while Hyundai commands seven percent of the US sedan market, the company estimates it only has two percent of the truck segment.
And while Krafcik stops short of confirming a new model, he acknowledges "a new segment is emerging" underneath the Tucson and says, "I think it's something to look at." At the moment, the subcompact softroader segment remains small and somewhat amorphous, with tiny CUV offerings like the Buick Encore, Nissan Juke, and now-discontinued Suzuki SX4 illustrating that there are a lot of different ways to package and market such a vehicle.
Edmunds expects a new Tucson sometime around 2015, so with Krafcik admitting that the company has no firm plans but is starting to look into the matter, it's likely that we won't see a smaller CUV from Hyundai until sometime after that.