SOUTH KOREA: New A-segment Kia targets European buyers
Kia Motors will unveil a brand new A-segment car at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, giving the brand a competitive entry-level vehicle in Europe for the first time.
The five-door hatchback, coded SA, will be available in four and five-seat versions.
Class-leading CO2 figures reflect the push toward leaner, greener vehicles - the 1.0 litre engine produces a miserly 120 g/km and the 1.1 version generates 130 g/km in five-speed manual form and 153 g/km as a four-speed automatic.
The new Kia has an instant mobility system instead of a spare tyre.
The new car is a high volume product designed to achieve stronger penetration particularly in Europe, where it will contribute significantly to Kia's goal of tripling sales by 2005 and raising awareness of the brand.
A diesel version will be released in 2005, increasing the appeal of the vehicle still further.
"The Kia range currently covers around 35% of European segmentation. By 2005 this will increase to around 85% as we develop vehicles to more closely match European tastes," a spokesman said.
Donghee Auto Company will build the new A-segment Kia on consignment at a new factory in Suhsan, a few kilometres from Kia's Hwasung plant. Initial production will be 150,000 units per year, of which 88,000 will be export models. The annual sales potential for Europe is around 60,000 units.