copyrighted by AUTOWEEK 2005
Hyundai, Kia seek bigger U.S. share
S. Korean brands work on identities, branching out
Mark Rechtin - Autoweek
Saturday, August 27, 2005
With ambitious U.S. sales goals set for the end of the decade, South
Korea's automakers, Kia Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co., are spending
heavily on new products.
Expect Hyundai and Kia to make dramatic improvements in existing models
when they are redesigned. In America, the two brands are looking at new
segments, such as small minivans, luxury sedans and pickups.
Hyundai aims to sell 1 million vehicles annually in the United States
in 2010, while Kia has a 500,000-unit target. Last year, Hyundai sold
418,615 vehicles here; Kia sold 270,055 units.
Already, the Hyundai-Kia union has sparked new engine families and
shared platforms and components. Now, Hyundai Motor is working to
create distinct identities for the two brands. Here are Hyundai and Kia
vehicle plans through the 2009 model year.
models are planned: a three-door hatchback and a four-door sedan. The more
powerful 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine features variable-valve timing and
delivers 110 hp. Standard features will include six air bags, anti-lock brakes,
electronic brake-force distribution, and CD stereo with XM satellite radio.> Elantra: The oldest of Hyundai's products will be redesigned in the fall of
2006. The 2007 Elantra will grow to be among the largest models in the
economy-car segment. A larger four-cylinder engine also is planned.> Tiburon: The Tiburon will be redesigned for the 2008 model year. A convertible version will be offered.> Sonata: The redesigned 2006 Sonata debuted a few months ago.> Sonata coupe and convertible: Hyundai will take on the Toyota Camry Solara and
Chrysler Sebring with a Sonata coupe and convertible, expected to arrive in
spring 2008.> Azera: The front-wheel-drive 2006 Hyundai Azera sedan arrives in December,
replacing the XG350. The Azera is 192.7 inches long and 72.8 inches wide, making
it a little larger than the Toyota Camry.> Luxury sedan: Hyundai wants to build the equivalent of a BMW 5 series but
price it in the $33,000 range. It will launch the rear-drive sedan in the United
States during the 2008 model year. The car will be the test case for launching a
separate luxury brand. The car will be powered by a 3.8-liter longitudinally
mounted V-6.> Large sport wagon: Hyundai plans to introduce a large sport wagon for the 2008 model year, but there is some debate on the vehicle's design.> Entourage: Hyundai's first minivan reaches dealers in the spring of 2006. The
2007 Entourage will be powered by a 3.8-liter V-6 engine, likely to have about
265 hp, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The minivan will have six
standard air bags, including side-curtain air bags for all three rows of
passengers. The third row of seats will fold flat into the floor.> Tucson: The compact sport wagon arrived as a 2005 model. No big changes are planned in the next few years.> Santa Fe: The redesigned 2007 Santa Fe is bigger than the previous model and
features three rows of seats. Two engines will be available: 3.3-liter and
3.8-liter V-6s.> Pickup: Hyundai will follow the Kia timetable, meaning it will arrive for the 2009 or 2010 model year.
hatchback are planned. The new Rio has a longer wheelbase and more horsepower
than the current model.> Spectra: The Spectra was redesigned for the 2004 model year; no major changes are foreseen.> Optima: The redesigned Optima arrives in March. It may not get the Sonata's
big V-6 in the first year or so of the new cycle. The base engine will be a
2.0-liter inline-four.> Amanti: The Amanti arrived in early 2003, so no major changes are planned in the next several years.> Coupe and convertible: Here's the recipe: Take the Kia Slice concept car, and
turn it into a coupe and convertible. Kia will create the models on the Hyundai
Tiburon platform for the 2008 or 2009 model year.> Carens: Kia's next-generation Carens small minivan will take on the Mazda5. It
will be developed on the same vehicle platform as the Kia Sportage and Spectra
and Hyundai Elantra. Expect a similar choice of 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder
and 2.7-liter V-6 engines. The vehicle will arrive here for the 2008 model year.> Sedona: The redesigned Sedona minivan arrives in January in short- and
long-wheelbase versions. The short-wheelbase models will offer a choice of a
3.3-liter or 3.8-liter V-6, while the long-wheelbase version likely will offer
the 3.8-liter V-6.> Sportage: It was redesigned this spring; no major changes are planned.> Sorento: Launched in fall 2002, the compact SUV is probably due for a redesign in the 2008 model year.> Large SUV: Kia's large 2009 SUV will closely resemble the Mesa concept, a
body-on-frame vehicle that is nearly as long as the Ford Expedition. It will
offer three rows of seats; the engine bay will be large enough to handle a V-8.> Pickup: If Hyundai moves ahead with plans to develop a pickup, Kia will get one, too. The pickups could arrive in the 2009 or 2010 model year.
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