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Kia Brings Rio to Paris

Maker ready to make impact in Europe's biggest market.

by on Sep.29, 2016

Kia's new Rio subcompact, which competes in Europe's toughest market, features a new exterior design.

Kia, which has used a combination of eye-catching design and new technology to win over customers, rolled out a updated version of its Rio subcompact passenger car during previews for the Paris Auto Show.

The new Kia Rio, one of the ambitious South Korean automaker’s key vehicles – it accounts for 16% of the company’s global sales – made its world debut in Paris at the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile.

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The fourth generation offers B-segment buyers, with new design both inside and out, a package of practicality and convenience, safety technology, new connectivity features and more engaging ride and handling in keeping with the automaker’s efforts to improve its suspensions and chassis in the wake of some intense criticism. (more…)

GM, Hyundai/Kia Take Lead as NACTOY Narrows List of Year’s Best

Annual awards add third category for utility vehicles.

by on Sep.27, 2016

The new Genesis G90 is one of four semifinalists from Hyundai and Korean sibling Kia.

It’s been a busy year for the auto industry, with scores of new cars, trucks and utility vehicles making their debut. And that’s kept the 60 jurors from the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year equally busy.

Of the 44 eligible 2017 models, they’ve taken a first cut, narrowing the field down to 29 semifinalists that, for the first time, fall into three separate categories. For the coming model-year, the NACTOY jurors will be selecting winners in three separate categories: Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle.

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The initial cut includes a wide variety of Asian, American and European brands, but two manufacturers stand out, General Motors leading the list with a total of seven nominees, the Hyundai/Kia Motor Group close behind with four separate semifinalists.


Strike Could Spell Problems for Hyundai

First full strike in 12 years could hit American operations.

by on Sep.26, 2016

Inside a Korean Hyundai plant.

Hyundai Motor Co. is facing a crippling, all-out strike for the first time in a dozen years, and the walkout at the maker’s Korean plants could soon impact its U.S. operations.

Korean labor unions have a history of militant action but had settled into an uneasy peace with Hyundai and rival automakers in recent years, at worst staging limited actions at select plants in order to win demands.  The latest action follows a vote by workers last month that rejected Hyundai’s latest wage package.

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While the world’s fifth-largest automaker – which also operates the Kia brand – has expanded its global production base in recent years, Hyundai still produces about 40% of its new cars and light trucks in South Korea, and many of those vehicles are earmarked for the U.S., as well as Europe, the Middle East and other parts of Asia.


First Drive: 2017 Kia Cadenza

Redesigned sedan gets significant upgrades.

by on Sep.01, 2016

The 2017 Kia Cadenza gets a redesign allowing it better compete within the large-car segment.

While Kia has made its mark building small cars and clever compact crossover vehicles, the South Korean automaker’s ambitions have grown right along with its sales and reputation.

With the introduction of the new 2017 Kia Cadenza, the company, which was the first non-luxury brand in 27 years to come out on top of J.D. Power’s closely watched IQS survey, takes dead aim a shrinking – but still important – segment dominated by traditional nameplates such as Toyota Avalon, Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala and Chrysler 300.

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It replaces a car that was added to the Kia line-up three years ago almost as an afterthought with a new model that is larger, lighter, handles better and more powerful than the car it will replace this fall. (more…)

Kia Keys Growth Around New Cadenza

Automaker revamping line-up for 2021.

by on Aug.19, 2016

The new Kia Cadenza gets a makeover for 2017 with a significant upgrade in safety technologies.

Kia is preparing to maintain its momentum after a long, successful run that has carried it to the top ranking in J.D. Power’s closely watched Initial Quality Survey.

Michael Sprague, Kia Motor America’s chief operating officer, said this week that the South Korean company has new products coming to market fall, notably the 2017 Kia Cadenza, a full-size sedan, which continues the brand’s push into territory once dominated by luxury brands from around the globe.

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The first iteration of the Cadenza, which appeared in 2013, has earned a loyal following and while the sales numbers are modest, 28,000 units, so far, Kia believes it can build on the reputation the car has developed among owners, said Sprague. (more…)

Hyundai Aiming for #2 in Green Vehicle Market

Korean maker and partner Kia will launch 26 “eco” models by 2020.

by on May.25, 2016

The Hyundai Ioniq will be offered with hybrid, plug-in and EV versions.

Hyundai has big plans for the “eco” market, with the maker planning to introduce 26 new hybrid, plug-in, battery-electric and fuel-cell  vehicles between now and 2020, a blitz that begins with this year’s launch of the new Ioniq model.

The challenge, said the head of the Korean carmaker’s green car program, will be winning over motorists who’ve so far shown a reluctance to buy battery and hydrogen cars in large numbers. But, facing increasingly stringent emissions and mileage mandates, Hyundai – and its rivals – have no choice but to bring cleaner, more energy-efficient products to market, said executive Byung Ki Ahn.

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“We’re making a serious effort to be the number two producer of EVs and fuel-cell vehicles,” said Ahn, the director of the Eco-Vehicle Performance Development Group for Hyundai and partner Kia. “I don’t think we can beat Toyota right away.”


Hyundai, Kia Implements New Sales Strategy for China

Makers launching low-cost sport-utes.

by on May.13, 2016

Hyundai hopes to take advantage of the demand for utility vehicles in the Chinese market.

Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia Motors plan to launch three low-cost sport utility vehicles in China next year, according to reports from Asia, trying to take advantage of the country’s current thirst for SUVs and MPVs.

Like General Motors and Volkswagen, China has become the largest market for Korean car companies. Making cheaper models specifically designed for the Chinese market will represent a shift in strategy for the South Korean, who have generally relied on older models to satisfy the demands of consumers in China.

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However, the Chinese market is evolving rapidly and both American and European carmakers have brought new technology to vehicles to separate themselves from their competition. China’s own carmakers have become increasingly sophisticated meaning that their Korean counterparts need to follow that trend. (more…)

Hyundai Blitzing Market with 26 Green Machines

Korean maker aims to rival Toyota in alternative powertrain technology.

by on Apr.05, 2016

The Hyundai Ioniq makes its debut at the NY Auto Show. Hybrid, plug-in and EV versions will be offered.

When Hyundai pulled the wraps off its new Ioniq model last month, it offered three different alternative flavors: a conventional hybrid, a plug-in and a pure battery-electric version. But that’s just the beginning of the Korean carmaker’s green car push.

Within the next four years, Hyundai Motor Group – including both the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands – intends to flood the market with 26 green machines, including both battery and hydrogen-powered models.

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The move is a risky one, especially in light of current, low gas prices that could stay depressed for several more years. But if Hyundai can pull it off, only Toyota would offer more models using alternative powertrain technology.


Kia’s Product Wave Crashes in New York with Cadenza

Cadenza gets compete makeover for new model year.

by on Mar.24, 2016

The new Kia Cadenza gets a makeover for 2017 with a significant upgrade in safety technologies.

Kia is continuing its new product onslaught with the introduction in New York of the 2017 Cadenza.

The new Cadenza, which will go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2016, improves upon all the elements that made its predecessor, according to Orth Hedrick, Kia Motors America vice president of product planning.

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The interior has been upgraded and the car will reach the market with a bunch of new technology, including a suite of driver assistance technology and connectivity.  (more…)

First Drive: 2017 Kia Sportage

South Korean automaker's fourth-gen crossover gets update.

by on Mar.14, 2016

For 2017, the Kia Sportage, the brand's fourth-generation model, gets a significant exterior and interior facelift.

As Kia’s reputation among consumers and the automotive world in general has continued to grow, one of the vehicle’s that has served as the anchor of its product line is the Sportage. The fourth-generation model gets a facelift for 2017 as Kia hopes its rock steady performance continues.

The latest version of the Kia Sportage is the product of the intense competition among carmakers from every corner of the globe for a share of the huge and growing market for compact crossovers, which trumps even new technology as defining the current state of the automotive market.

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Kia also has proven adept at overcoming learning from its mistakes. The knowledge gleaned from previous models is clearly evident in the 2017 Sportage, which comes with a much more refined interior, better ride and handling, and technology that enhances the vehicle’s overall operation. (more…)