The Santa Fe will be on sale for less than six months in some global markets this year, but Hyundai is banking on the new utility vehicle selling at least 152,000 units in 2012. Hyundai is also hoping the new Santa Fe will cut off rivals in its home country of South Korea, which was recently opened to increased foreign competition through international trade agreements.
"We are confident about positioning Santa Fe as premium model both at home and in the overseas markets," Hyundai CEO Kim Choong-ho told Reuters.
More than 10 percent of all cars sold in South Korea in January were imported, marking a record high for the country.
Hyundai is expecting the new Santa Fe, which hits U.S. showrooms in July, to have a strong full-year of sales, with the company forecasting 385,000 global sales in 2013.