Like its Korean sibling, Kia has been steadily moving up-market and plans to enter the luxury segment with two or more all-new models by 2017.
Among the models now under development are the K9 and K7 Cadenza, according to company sources and additional reports in the Korea Times.
Kia has traditionally focused on more down-market segments than Hyundai, the latter entering the mid-luxury segment in 2007 with the launch of the Genesis in 2007 – and followed up with the premium luxury Equus last year.
But Kia has been signaling a desire to move up-market for some time. It showed off the sporty GT concept last year and revealed sketches of an even more luxurious model, codenamed KH, last winter.
The decision surprises few considering the maker’s global styling chief, Peter Schreyer, is not only considered one of the world’s leading designers but previously held the top spot penning products for Audi.