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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Hyundai Motors is unveiling its newest line of vehicles. Something compact and fuel efficient you might assume? Maybe even a hybrid? Well think again. The Hyundai Veracruz is a luxury SUV. And David Welch reports after a pretty rough year, sales of those gas-guzzlers are looking up.
DAVID WELCH: Hyundai is hoping the Veracruz will boost both its image and its profit margin.
The company is calling it an LUV or Luxury utility vehicle and it promises to be the carmaker’s largest and most expensive SUV sold in the US.
Auto expert Lawrence Ulrich says this could be a big seller for Hyundai. He says upscale SUVs ARE exactly what American consumers are buying.
ULRICH: “These are SUV’s that are built on the bones of cars instead of the big sturdy frames of pickup trucks as they were in the past. They tend to be lighter, they’re a little easier on gas, they drive a little more like cars. Think of them as a kindler, gentler SUV.”
High gas prices had cut sharply into SUV sales, but with fuel costs on the decline, many predict vehicles like the Veracruz will be back on top for the holidays.
In Portland, I’m David Welch for Marketplace.
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