CUVs and a Celebration

Presently, Hyundai has two crossover models on the U.S. market, the Tucson and the Santa Fe (with this vehicle coming in two- and three row versions, with the former being named the “Santa Fe Sport,” so it could be argued that it has 2.5 models on the market). But last week Mike O’Brien, vice president, product, corporate and digital planning, Hyundai Motor America, announced that the company is going to not only multiply the number of CUVs it will offer, but provide a range of powertrain types, as well.

Presently, Hyundai has two crossover models on the U.S. market, the Tucson and the Santa Fe (with this vehicle coming in two- and three row versions, with the former being named the “Santa Fe Sport,” so it could be argued that it has 2.5 models on the market).

But last week Mike O’Brien, vice president, product, corporate and digital planning, Hyundai Motor America, announced that the company is going to not only multiply the number of CUVs it will offer, but provide a range of powertrain types, as well.

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Hyundai Press Event at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.

Part of O’Brien’s official statement: “These vehicles will show the engineering prowess of the more than 13,000 engineers Hyundai Motor Company has working on current and future models every single day. Our customers are going to have a lot of great CUV choices in our dealerships.”

They’re going to be offering eight new or significantly re-engineered crossovers—from the A-segment to the 8-passenger midsize category—by 2020. What’s more, they’re going to be offering a fuel-cell powered CUV, a full battery electric CUV and a diesel-powered CUV in this suite of offerings. And, yes, there will be advanced ICE powertrains, as well.

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O’Brien discusses the approach that Hyundai is taking on this edition of “Autoline After Hours” with my cohost John McElroy, Ron Sessions of autotrader.com and me.

Among the interesting points that O’Brien makes is that one of the vehicles they’re developing is something that won’t just compete with other new vehicles on the market, but actually come in at a price point that will make it competitive with used vehicles. (And one of the advantages that this vehicle will have, in addition to it being new, is that there is the Hyundai Assurance warranty.)

For another, when discussing the electric crossover (EV CUV), he said that they’re going to provide the capability and the range such that it will be a vehicle that can actually replace a vehicle that has a gasoline-powered powertrain, not be a secondary or tertiary object in the garage.

And O’Brien also talks about the promise and problems (with these being mainly about available infrastructure) of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

This is a discussion of trends and developments in the auto industry that you’re unlikely to get anywhere else.

Now while that might seem like an idle, boastful claim, there is another thing about this episode of “Autoline After Hours.”

It is the 400th show.

The first show appeared on April 4, 2009.

Given that each show lasts about an hour, were it possible to watch them back to back, it would require more than 16 days. Arguably, you’d be able to stay awake for that long because of the scintillating content. OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But just a bit.

Within the show there is a retrospective of those that have gone before, and as you’ll see, there has been a panoply of the leading players in the auto industry, as well as the journalists and analysts who cover them. No show has ever had such free-wheeling coverage of the auto industry so consistently as “After Hours.”

And you can see the most recent, number 400, right here.