Hyundai continues to expand its SUV portfolio, looking to turn around sluggish sales after missing the utility craze by a few years. The new three-row sport utility vehicle is named Palisade and hits dealer showrooms next year.
Mike O’Brien, Hyundai vice president of product, corporate and digital planning, said the new name carries with it connotations of luxury strength and safety.
“The Palisade is place and a fortress,” he said, recounting that a Palisade can mean either a place with towering cliffs topped either by a castle or expensive homes. A palisade also means a fortification, he said.
The new 2020 Hyundai Palisade is scheduled to make its public debut later this month at the annual Los Angeles International Auto Show, said O’Brien, who offered a look at the latest addition to the Hyundai product line during a briefing at the Hyundai technical center near Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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The Palisade is scheduled to replace the three-raw Santa Fe XL in the Hyundai line-up and will compete head-on with vehicles such as the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder and the new Subaru Ascent.
O’Brien noted that Hyundai has revamped its product line during the past 12 months by adding 10 all-new or redesigned vehicles. The highlights of the changes include the addition pf the Kona, compact crossover and a fresh new look for all of Hyundai’s volume leaders — the Elantra, Tucson and Santa Fe.
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“Hyundai has initiated one of the most ambitious portfolio makeovers in U.S. history,” O’Brien said. “Having an onslaught of new or enhanced products in the market place conveys our commitment to providing consumers with a variety of high-quality vehicles, meeting the individual lifestyle needs,” he added.
Those vehicles have focused on SUVs in during the last 12 to 18 months as the company looked to make up lost ground. Hyundai introduced the new Kona small ute as well as updated designs fo the Tucson and Santa Fe, the Palisade is the icing on the cake.
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Hyundai-branded vehicle sales increased by 3%, led again by a monthly SUV sales record that rose 8% compared with the prior year. Tucson set another monthly record, making it 20 months in a row, with a 32% increase. SUV retail sales in October represented 49% of total volume versus 40% last October.