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June 29, 2017

Hyundai-Kia target small SUV segment with Kona, Stonic

Hyundai Motor launched its first sub-compact SUV in South Korea this week, as the company looks to bounce back from a disappointing first half of 2017.

Hyundai Motor launched its first sub-compact SUV in South Korea this week, as the company looks to bounce back from a disappointing first half of 2017.

Hyundai's global sales in the first five months of the year declined by 6.5% to 1.822m units, mainly due to a sharp drop in China following the political fall out over the deployment of the US THAAD missile shield system in South Korea.

The Kona [anyone remember the coffee machines of the same name – ed?] comes with a choice of 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol engine and a 1.6 diesel, coupled to a seven speed dual clutch transmission system. The diesel model will be available only in Korea, according to local reports, and prices range between KRW19m (US$16,685) and KRW27m. The Kona will be launched in global markets except the US throughout the second half of the year and into 2018 with Europe expected to be a key regional market for the model as demand for small SUVs continues to grow strongly.

Kia this week also unveiled its version of the Kona, called the Stonic, which it plans to launch domestically in mid-July. This too will be made available globally in the second half of the year with Europe also expected to be a key market.

For the domestic market the Stonic will be available with the same 1.6 diesel engine and seven-speed DCT as the Kona while a decision has not yet been made on whether the petrol model will be available. The petrol is expected to be the main seller in overseas markets, however.

The company says the diesel has a fuel consumption of 16.7km/litre and prices will range between KRW19m (US$16,685) and KRW27m.

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