It is a proud moment for Hyundai. The company has sold 1 millionth unit of its Santa Fe in the US. The one million mark is very important for an automobile manufacturer. But some companies reach this mark pretty quickly while some take a longer time to reach there. Hyundai Santa Fe took 13 years to see this figure. But the success of this car is evident from the fact that it has consistently being upon the most economical and sophisticated cars offered in its segment. You can say that the launch of this car, 13 years back changed Hyundai’s image in the auto world completely.
Santa Fe is named after a city in Mexico. It is a midsized SUV that was launched by Hyundai in 2000 as a 2001 model. This car was the first ever SUV marketed by Hyundai. The car although was badly criticized by the critics for its looks. But to everyone’s surprise, Santa Fe became very popular and became America’s one of the best sellers. The car had such a great demand that the company often had problems in keeping up with the supplies.
In 2012 the 3rd gen model of this car was unveiled at th New York Auto Show. The new model has already been launched in China and has been spied test driving in India. Thus it is expected that in the next few months India will also get the latest Santa Fe.
Hyundai received immense popularity after the launch of Santa Fe in US. Earlier it was simply known for its cost effective vehicles. With 2 new Santa Fe models in the lineup, the sales after June have seen a hike of 40% which also saw the sale of the one millionth unit of this car.
President and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, John Krafcik said on achieving 1million sales that “When the 2001 Santa Fe launched in the United States 13 years ago, not only was it Hyundai’s first SUV, but it was one of the first compact crossovers on the market ? just behind Toyota RAV4 and Honda CRV. It was a bold move that paid off and helped position Hyundai as a brand that could innovate in design and package, not just value and warranty.”
The present 3rd gen model is powered by a 2.2 liter engine giving an output of 190 bhp. Apart from this standard spec, the car also gets a V6 6 cylinder, 3.3 liter GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) engine offering a power output of 290 bhp, specific for the North American market. The car initially came as a 5-seater SUV but the company, in an attempt to spice up the lineup, also introduced the 7 seater model in 2012. The car is available with 2 wheel base options offering the driver a great choice. The standard model offers a front wheel drive. Santa Fe has been awarded with many tags like the “Best 3 row midsized SUV” and the “2013 Best car for the money”
Krafcik also said that “Santa Fe has played a significant role in Hyundai’s success and growth in the United States. For many loyal Hyundai owners today, it was their entry point to the brand.”
The car is largely manufactured in US at the production plant located in West Point in Georgia. Prior to this, Santa Fe was manufactured at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing in Montgomery in Alabama. In this year, Hyundai has claimed that it will produce 500,000 units of Santa Fe in US and will sell more than 70,000 vehicles.
The updated model of Santa Fe is expected to go on sale in India in early 2014.