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Is Kia Readying a Miata-fighter?

Korean officials hint they want their own MX-5.

by on Mar.29, 2011

Kia is looking to enter the small roadster segment with its own take on the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Mazda may soon be facing some serious competition in the affordable roadster market.

After having the segment virtually all to itself as European roadsters have migrated steadily up-market, Mazda’s little MX-5 Miata may soon face challenges from Subaru, Toyota and now, it seems, even the Korean carmaker Kia.

“I’d like to have a Kia MX-5,” Paul Philpott, president of the maker’s European operations, acknowledges.

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How soon?  Not immediately, as “2011 and 2012 are about establishing the brand,” which is undergo huge growth in both Europe and the U.S.  “But for 2013 and 2014, we’re thinking about halo models that stretch the company forward.”

While observers might initially dismiss that as little more than wishful thinking, Kia’s global design director Peter Schreyer also weighed in during an interview with the British publication, Auto Express, asserting, The brand deserves a sporty car, like a roadster.”

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