About Me

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Jan 22: What the ?

 Sometimes a great notion, sometimes not. To much bewilderment, Hyundai at the current Detroit auto show unveiled to rabid anticipation (my words, not theirs), the Santa Cruz concept truck or whatever it is. This is Hyundai's effort to produce a vehicle for "the urban adventurers" (I thought that they drove Corvettes). Apparently Hyundai thinks that, this Santa Cruz meets the unspoken needs of the growing millennial lifestylers. Maybe it does, maybe not, but this vehicle sure brings to mind a few other vehicles that were actually built in order to meet "unspoken needs". It also brings to mind a quote from MAD magazine, many long years ago, talking about the disastrous Edsel car......."It was built for a demand of which there wasn't any." I wonder.

 Hasn't Honda been producing a similar type of vehicle? I speak of their now discontinued Ridgeline. Not quite a pick-up and not quite an adventurous urban assault vehicle ("Load 'er up, boys, we're going to Walmart.")? Well, we all know how well, it didn't sell.

Honda Ridgeline
 Or consider the ill conceived Subaru Outback pick-up, the Baja.........

 Apart from an over wrought design, this whatever, wasn't really anything useful. Later redesigned or I should say, modified slightly to make it a more cohesive design, the Baja still stayed nailed to the showroom floors until Sub could put it out of its misery. This wasn't their first time with an adventurous vehicle, attempting to fill an unwanted need. Remember the Brat........

Well, someone was adventurous, especially if they were seated in one of those highly dangerous back seats. Living on the edge, like our nutty American friends with all their guns. The right to bear arms or be fatally injured in a rear end collision. Your choice.

But, what is with manufacturers making a vehicle for a hip, young group and telling them that this is their ride? I don't think that this ever works, the specific group decides what they decide, not what they are told. Think of another vehicle that was built for a particular subset of society? How about the kinda funky, Honda Element or as my friend called his, the Honda Hummer.........

Targeted again to those urban warriors, but, who ended up buying most of them? You got it. Old guys, like my friend, who didn't want anything as big as a van, but loved the functionality of the Element to shuttle the kids back and forth to university. Or those slightly older folks, who needed room for their annual pilgrimage to Florida. The target market? Not by a country mile.

Even Mitsubishi gave it a whirl with this concept truck/car/suv or whatever, which hit the auto show circuit sometime over the past ten years. No gentle prodding of the "desire to have" glands could help this effort and it withered away to some storage facility somewhere.

Does bear more than a passing resemblance to Hyundai's latest effort, though doesn't it? So, did Hyundai dust off this old design and decide to take another shot?

I think the adventure should be in the advertising for this number. If Hyundai is really serious (consensus is that they are not), go for it. Idea for an ad.......Attention all you urban adventurers (and you know who you are), this is the last time we are going to satisfy your unspoken needs. Send a text, a tweet, an email, a smoke signal and commit to buying a Santa Cruz or we're sending this one to the crusher and we'll never tempt you again. LAST CHANCE, FRIENDO!

We'll see, but Hyundai can thank me, if they try it and it works.

Until next time........


  1. Over the years the Ranchero and El Camino were reasonably successful but they ended up being passed over for a pickup instead. A pickup is just more useful. Imagine doing a landscaping job and you need a load of crushed/washed gravel? You're going to pick it up in what? A Ridgeline? Face it the GM Avalanche didn't make it because it was a truck that couldn't be used as such. My wife wanted (still wants) an Avalanche. I told her that a regular truck has all the amenities that the Avalanche has plus, I can toss an engine and transmission into the back after raiding the local swapmeet. Well, I could do that with an Avalanche too but the bed would never be the same. For $50K I'll take the real truck. Thanks for posting this Barry.

    1. George, I had a contractor client who liked the Avalanche since he could extend the bed by lowering the midgate. Now he drives a crewcab with absolutely no complaints, so obviously it was not that important a feature.