Hyundai gives up on the Azera sedan to focus on more crossover models

2015 Hyundai Azera
2015 Hyundai Azera
Just yesterday we reported that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) head Sergio Marchionne was laying the ax down on two core models: the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200. It may have sounded shocking, but it would appear the layoff of sedans is only beginning within the automotive industry.

Hyundai has announced that it will cancel production of its Azera full-size sedan in favor of greater focus on crossovers (echoing FCA’s sentiments). Frankly, Hyundai’s news is a bit less shocking, as its Azera has been a slow seller in the U.S. for some time now. Unlike FCA, however, the Azera will likely continue to sell outside the U.S. as the Grandeur.

With Hyundai’s remaining sedan and compact models: the Sonata, Elantra, Veloster, and Accent taking up the lower cost end of the market, cutting the Azera will help the Korean automaker distinguish itself from the new Genesis luxury brand.

Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski recently stated that the Tucson compact crossover would outsell Hyundai’s volume model, the Elantra, if the company didn’t have production constraints. With some newly freed-up resources, we may see Zuchowski’s boast put to the test. Hyundai also updated its Alabama factory to allow production of its Sante Fe Sport side by side with the Elantra and Sonata, increasing the crossover’s output to 50,000 units per year.

The Tucson will gain an additional 50,000 units of output this year as well, serving up plenty of models for the reported swell of consumers looking to buy them.

In other Hyundai news, the automaker will introduce a B-segment crossover to challenge established players like the Nissan Juke, Fiat 500X, and Jeep Renegade. Of course, this crossover growth doesn’t even count the planned models that will slot under the Genesis sub-brand, which will apparently include a high-riding utility vehicle in every size category.

Keep an eye out for more automakers to adopt similar strategies to reallocate resources to surging crossover sales.


2020 GMC Acadia toughens up on the outside, gets smarter on the inside

The 2020 GMC Acadia crossover gets styling updates and a more rugged AT4 trim level. Under the skin, the Acadia sports a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a wider array of tech features.

2019 RAM 1500 Classic Warlock special edition: Badass style without the whoop

If you like the looks of blacked-out badass trucks without the cost of a desert racer, FCA announced the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock, a special edition pickup that focuses on appearance with only a touch of additional off-road capability.

2020 Kia Soul and Soul EV continue to think inside the box

The 2020 Kia Soul is the third generation of Kia's boxy curiosity. The Soul maintains its signature look, but gets tech and powertrain upgrades. The all-electric Soul EV returns as well.

BMW’s X3 M and X4 M pack 503 horsepower in nontraditional form

BMW is starting even further from its heritage with the 2020 X3 M and X4 M performance crossovers. But with up to 503 horsepower available in each vehicle, does that really matter?

The Polestar 2, Sweden’s answer to the Tesla Model 3, begins taking shape

Volvo sister company Polestar has released a teaser image to give us our first look at the 2, its second model. Polestar tells us the 2 will arrive as a four-door fastback with a 400-hp electric powertrain and about 300 miles of range.

Psychedelic Volkswagen Microbus from Woodstock returns for an encore

With its trippy paint scheme, the Volkswagen "Light" bus became a symbol of the 1969 Woodstock music festival. VW teamed up with the artist who created this rolling mural to stage a comeback in time for Woodstock's 50th anniversary.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Amazon plugs in with $700 million investment in electric pickup company Rivian

Amazon invested $700 million for a minority stake in U.S. all-electric truck maker Rivian, according to a joint release. The announcement follows a Reuters report that GM and Amazon might invest $1 billion to $2 billion in the company.
Product Review

Mercedes-Benz updates the timeless G-wagen for the modern world

For decades, the G-Class has been an outlier in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio, a body-on-frame brute with the soul – and driving manners – of an off-road pickup. With the all-new G550, Mercedes seeks to smooth out some of the rough edges.

Nissan is using old Leaf batteries to power and connect off-the-grid campers

Nissan has teamed up with trailer manufacturer Opus to design a mobile, weatherproof power pack built with battery cells sourced from the first-generation Leaf. Called Roam, the pack stores enough electricity to power a camper for up to a…

Alfa Romeo’s latest Ferrari-powered F1 race car is ready to hit the track

Alfa Romeo is doubling down on Formula One racing after a decades-long hiatus. Now essentially a support team for Ferrari, its 2019 driver lineup includes a former world champion and a potential future star.

Researchers teach self-driving cars to predict pedestrians’ next moves

University of Michigan researchers are developing a system that teaches self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movement. Humans don't always act in their own best self-interest, so autonomous cars will need to practice protective driving.

Subaru’s latest VIZIV concept car is pumped full of adrenaline

The Subaru VIZIV Adrenaline is the seventh member of the Japanese automaker's family of VIZIV concept cars. It debuts at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, but for now, all we're getting is a shadowy teaser image.

Audi is advancing the tech that teaches cars to talk to traffic lights

Audi is teaching its cars the language of traffic lights. The company developed technology that tells motorists what speed they should drive at in order to catch as many green lights as possible.