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Hyundai – Kia Sales to Hit Record 8 Million

But profits under pressure.

by on Nov.25, 2014

A fuel-cell version of the popular Hyundai Tucson went on sale in the U.S. market last summer.

Hyundai Motor Co. and its sibling Kia Motors Corp. are collectively heading for an all-time sales record of 8 million this year.

On the downside, Hyundai is facing serious pressure on earnings as the Korean won gains strength. That creates a disadvantage when compared to Japanese rivals who have watched earnings soar on the weak yen.

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“The market still does not look rosy,” Chung Mong Koo, who serves as chairman of both Hyundai and Kia, said in the statement. “Let’s overcome the unfavorable market situation and show our automobile industry’s competence.”


Evolving Design: Peter Schreyer Hopes to Reshape Kia and Hyundai

German stylist wants to connect the dots between art and design.

by on Feb.14, 2013

Kia President Peter Schreyer now oversees Hyundai design, as well.

Korea’s business community is a close-knit – some would say xenophobic group. So, it came as a shock when, last month, top executives at the massive Hyundai Group — which includes both Hyundai and Kia — did something unheard of, placing a large chunk of responsibility for the company’s future in the hands of an outsider.

Then again, German Peter Schreyer, had already shown how he could transform the once-stodgy Kia brand into a global trend-setter.

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“I think (my) role is definitely changing,” was the decidedly understated way Peter Schreyer opened a conversation about his new role as one of three Kia presidents. “I think it can help make the design organization stronger,” Schreyer said of his new position during a conversation at the Chicago Auto Show after unveiling both the Kia Forte 5-door hatchback and the edgy Cross GT Concept.


First Look: Kia K9 Luxury Flagship

Is the maker barking up the right tree with its latest push up-market?

by on Feb.28, 2012

Kia will launch a new rear-drive flagship, the K9.

Kia has been doggedly moving up-market, in recent years, and with the launch of its new K9 luxury flagship it will mark a dramatic shift from the cheap-and-cheerful little econoboxes that used to define the Korean carmaker’s line-up.

The formal announcement of the rear-drive model echoes the strategy followed by sibling brand Hyundai, which scored big with the launch of the big Genesis sedan in 2007, and last year’s launch of the even larger and more upscale Equus.

While Kia isn’t releasing details on the K9, it’s believed to be sharing many of the same underpinnings – and powertrain options – of the rear-drive Hyundai line, such as the 5.0-liter direct-injection V-8 offered in both the Genesis and Equus.

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Though traditional Korea buyers might be surprised to see such a large and lavishly equipped offering at their local Kia showroom the new K9 won’t seem completely unfamiliar.  It features the brand’s stock pinched grille and fender vents.  But the overall design feel is more elegant if not exactly all-new.  There is at least one place where the maker nudges the cutting edge, opting for LED headlamps as well as taillights, technology the rest of the luxury market is just migrating to.


Hyundai May Add Second U.S. Assembly Plant

Maker can’t meet demand for Sonata, other models.

by on Jan.17, 2011

Already struggling to meet demand for the Sonata, Hyundai is now running short of the new Elantra.

Hyundai is giving serious thought to adding a second U.S. assembly plant, the maker struggling to find ways to keep up with booming demand for the new Sonata sedan and other increasingly popular models.

The South Korean carmaker saw its sales surge 24% in 2010, volume reaching a record 540,000.  That included an all-time high 200,000 Sonatas, a midsize model that was a runner-up in the closely-followed North American Car of the Year competition.  (The trophy went to the Chevrolet Volt.)

Adding a second plant is “something we’re going to look at,” said John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, during an appearance at the Detroit Auto Show.  A decision will “probably (come) after this year,” he added.