The seven-passenger Veracruz was a new nameplate for Hyundai when it rolled out in 2007. It never gained much acceptance in the U.S., so Hyundai has found a new way around that problem.
"It's hard to establish a new brand name," Krafcik said. "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."
Indeed. It will also be more efficient producing a five- and seven-passenger Santa Fe than two different vehicles. From the B-pillar forward, there will only be minor differences between the two Santa Fe models.
Furthermore, the new design of the Santa Fe moves it into Hyundai's stylized fluidic design theme, something that has been very successful with the compact Elantra and midsize Sonata. The Veracruz, which still included many of Hyundai's older design elements, just didn't fit in with everything else. Now, or at least in the coming months, it will be no more.