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Kia Ready For Next Product Blitz

Smaller of Korean makers also studying possible 2nd US plant.

by on Sep.05, 2012

The 2014 Kia Forte will make its debut at the LA Auto Show in November.

The once very unhip Kia brand has undergone a massive makeover in recent years, thanks to a trio of hip-hop “hamstars,” a rock star of a design chief – and a blitz of new products.

The new model assault is set to continue, Kia officials reveal, at the upcoming Los Angeles and Detroit auto shows.  And to feed the growing demand for those and existing products like the Optima and Soul, Kia management is now studying the option of expanding its North American production base – a move that might include the addition of a second U.S. assembly plant.

Kia is now the fastest-growing brand in the U.S. market, noted Kia Motors America sales chief Tom Loveless, with a 78% sales surge since 2008 surpassing even Korean sibling Hyundai, as well as fast-track brands like Volkswagen and Subaru.

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After setting a 2011 sales record of 485,000 – and breaking its all-time monthly records for 24 consecutive months – Kia expects to reach another new peak this year, market share climbing to an all-time high 4.0, “if we can maintain this pace,” said Loveless, during a presentation to the Detroit Automotive Press Association.


Kia White Tiger and Hamstar Concepts Hint At More to Come

by on Nov.02, 2010

Kia brings its Hamstars to SEMA.

This year’s SEMA Show, normally the realm of the performance crowd, is turning into a preview of things to come.  Among the makers using the annual event to unveil an array of concept cars, trucks and crossovers is Kia, whose prototypes, including the White Tiger and Hamstar show cars, offer more than a hint of what the Korean carmaker will soon be bringing to market.

And it’s not only urban cruisers Kia is customizing.  The maker’s Kia Forte Hybrid Concept shows that going green doesn’t have to be boring.

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Separately, Kia announced that following the unexpectedly solid first-year performance of its road racing team – which included six Top Ten finishes – the maker will expand its motor sports efforts in 2011, with the Kia Fort Coup campaigning in the upcoming Grand Am-Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

Few new cars have generated more buzz, in recent years, than the Kia Soul, especially among the hip-hop generation.  So, it’s no surprise Kia is bringing two concept versions of the urban cruiser to SEMA.