Hyundai Aims to Sell 100,000 Santa Fe SUVs Yearly in U.S.

Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s largest automaker, expects yearly U.S. sales of more than 100,000 of its redesigned Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle, including a stretched version with three rows of seats.

That sales target exceeds Hyundai’s current Sante Fe sales by more than 20,000 models, said John Shon, manager of product planning for the automaker’s U.S. operations. It also would exceed the combined sales of the Santa Fe and the Hyundai Veracruz, a 3-row SUV the automaker stopped making in May, Shon told reporters today at a driving demonstration of the new model.

Hyundai is seeking to lure U.S. buyers of the Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer and Edge, and Chevrolet Equinox, Shon said. The two-row version of the 2013 Santa Fe went on sale last month, starting at $25,275. The stretched, 3-row model goes on sale early next year with a price that will exceed $27,700, Shon said.

“Our sales target is north of 100,000” annual sales, Shon said. “You saw our sales success of the Sonata. We more than doubled sales.”

U.S. sales of the Santa Fe, mostly the older version, have fallen 16 percent this year to 43,583, according to researcher Autodata Corp. The outgoing design of the Santa Fe has been averaging 75,000 to 80,000 sales annually, Shon said. The Veracruz did about 13,000 in yearly U.S. sales, Shon said.

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