Four sources have told Reuters that the Korean automaker is seriously considering a large, luxury SUV based on the rear-wheel drive Genesis sedan. The news adds further weight to CarAdvice's previous story about the potential for a Genesis SUV, which the company's European chief Allan Rushforth suggested was a logical move.
If Hyundai does decide to proceed with a Genesis-based SUV, it will provide the company with a luxurious SUV that can be sold at a relatively high profit margin. It will also allow Hyundai to further burnish its brand image, as well as improve the economies of scale of its rear-wheel drive platform.
Whether such a vehicle comes about is another matter. One source told the news wire that "we are timid when it comes to bigger SUVs".
Hyundai currently produces two SUVs that are larger than the five-seat Santa Fe that's presently sold in Australia. One is a long-wheelbase, seven-seat variant of the current Santa Fe.
The other is the Veracruz (above), which was introduced way back in 2006 and is based on a two-generation old Sonata platform. The Veracruz will, according to South Korean labour unions, cease production later this year.
When asked for confirmation about the Veracruz's demise, Hyundai confirmed the development to Reuters, adding: "We are considering developing premium, large SUVs based on customers' needs. We plan to respond to the fast-changing market centered around SUVs by beefing up our SUV line-up".
Reports also indicate that Hyundai is seriously considering a production version of the Santa Cruz concept (above). Introduced at the Detroit motor show, the Santa Cruz is a car-based ute and its primary target market will be the USA.