The Kia Motors China joint venture, Donfeng Yueda Kia, is launching its new locally-produced Forte C-segment sedan at the Shanghai motor show this week. The model is exported from Korea to other markets as the Cerato. A similar model also badged Forte was launched at the New York motor show earlier this month and will replace the current Spectra in the US.

Kia is also launching its redesigned Sorento Highline Cruiser SUV; this model is imported from Korea.

The Chinese Forte will be produced at DYK's plant in Jiangsu province and sold alongside the (also locally produced) current generation Cerato.

The Forte has updated styling, better fuel economy, improved ride and handling, more cabin comfort, enhanced safety and new technologies and maintained functionality.

Kia last week launched a two-door coupe model called the Forte/Cerato) Koup at the New York show and this will go on sale late in 2009.

The Forte will be available with two-litre or locally produced 1.6-litre petrol engines, with manual or automatic transmissions, 10 paint colours, two interior colours, a choice of equipment/trim levels and a range of factory options.

The Forte is 30mm longer, 40mm wider and 10mm lower than the previous model on a wheelbase extended 40mm to ensure that five adults can be comfortably accommodated. Track is 62mm wider front and 79mm rear.

The China market Sorento will be offered with 2.4-litre petrol or 2.2-litre diesel engines, both with standard 4WD and six-speed automatic transmission.

Kia Motors entered China in 2002 when it formed the DYK joint venture and began local production of the TianLima sedan..

The 2009 sales target is over 195,000 units, up 30% from 2008 when 151,000 cars were sold, up 32% year on year.