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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.”

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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.

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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…)

Kia Fortifies Portfolio with Introduction of 2017 Sportage

South Korean maker looking to fortify image.

by on Mar.04, 2016

The fourth-generation Kia Sportage gets a new exterior look as well as improved capability.

After setting a major sales record in 2015 and a double-digit increase in sales during February, Kia is fortifying its product portfolio and using an aggressive marketing campaign to underscore that it is a much different company than it was when it first arrived in the U.S. back in the 1990s.

Last year, Kia sold more than 600,000 vehicles for the first time, Michael Sprague, Kia’s chief operating officer, said this week during a preview for the new 2017 Kia Sportage. Kia’s 13% sales jump last month was based on solid sales across the brand’s product line.

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Kia also kicked off the advertising for the new version of the Optima during February with a well-received Super Bowl ad that really jump-started sales. (more…)

Kia Crosses the Atlantic With New Niro

More hints of plug-in plans.

by on Mar.01, 2016

Kia will add a plug-in version of the Niro about a year after the debut of the hybrid model.

Kia is promising to deliver the best of both worlds as it gives European motorists a first look at the new Niro, a battery-based Prius fighter that made its first appearance at the Chicago Auto Show only a few weeks ago.

This time, the Korean carmaker is dropping a few more hints about future plans, however, and the Kia Niro Hybrid on display at the Geneva Motor Show will soon be joined in showrooms by a plug-in version.

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“The Kia Niro will offer buyers a compelling blend of crossover practicality with the cool, modern styling for which Kia is famous, and an efficient new hybrid powertrain to keep running costs down,” said Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe. “The Niro fills a gap in the market for a crossover with typically low hybrid emissions, and will appeal to a broad range of European buyers.”

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Kia Promises Best of Both Worlds with New Niro Hybrid Crossover

Ground-up design; one of three battery models debuting in Chicago.

by on Feb.11, 2016

The 2017 Kia Niro boasts a slick 0.29 coefficient of drag, helping deliver an estimated 50 mpg,

What would Toyota do if it were starting from scratch, designing the Prius today? Would the world’s best-selling hybrid still have a relatively conventional five-door layout? Or might it follow current fashion?

That was the question Kia’s product development team apparently had to answer when they began working up their own dedicated hybrid-electric model. And in their case, they opted for a slick subcompact crossover-utility vehicle dubbed the Kia Niro.

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First shown in concept form more than two years ago, the production Niro loses such fanciful touches as the scissor-style doors. But Kia didn’t take the easy out, simply stuffing a gas-electric driveline in an existing CUV model like the Sportage. Instead, the Korean carmaker opted for a ground-up development program designed, it claims, to strikes a balance between styling, utility, fuel-economy and that elusive fun-to-drive factor.

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Kia Offers Two New Battery Options for 2017 Optima Sedan

Updated hybrid and Kia’s first plug-in make Chicago debut.

by on Feb.11, 2016

Kia is adding a plug-in hybrid version of the Optima fo4 2016, getting up to 27 miles a charge.

Little Korean carmaker Kia has never been shy about bucking trends. And it’s ready to prove that again at the Chicago Auto Show.

Kia is heading into the Windy City with not just one, not just two, but three new battery-based products set to reach U.S. showrooms for the 2017 model-year. That includes both the updated Kia Optima Hybrid, but also the new Kia Optima PHEV, the Korean carmaker’s first plug-in hybrid.

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Along with the new Kia Niro, a compact crossover hybrid, the two Optima models are part of the carmaker’s grand plan to triple the number of battery-based models in its fleet by 2020. But whether they’ll gain traction in a market more focused on trucks is far from certain. (more…)