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24
Nov

Hyundai and Kia to hit record 8M sales for 2014

Filed under: Hyundai, Kia, Earnings/Financials

The logo of Hyundai Motors display durin

Hyundai and Kia are on a sales charge in 2014, and parent company Hyundai Motor Group is increasing projections to a record eight million combined units for the automakers by the end of the year - a bump over the original target of 7.86 million vehicles.

According to Bloomberg, the key to the growth is beating expectations in Brazil, China and India, and strong crossover sales are also helping the bottom line. In the US, both automakers are doing well this year. In October, Hyundai saw a six percent dip in monthly sales, but through the first 10 months it sold 607,539 vehicles, compared to 601,773 at this point last year. Kia has done even better with 489,711 units sold from January to October, versus 456,137 for the period in 2013.

The good news is a welcome antidote to negative headlines like investors' anger over Hyundai's $10 billion land purchase in Seoul, South Korea. The two automakers also had to pay a $300 million penalty to the Environmental Protection Agency for misstating fuel economy on some models.

While sales may reach a new record, profits might not grow as much with them. The strong Korean won means that Hyundai and Kia have a tougher time keeping up profit margins compared to Japanese competitors with a weaker yen.

Hyundai and Kia to hit record 8M sales for 2014 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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24
Nov

Kia Sorento bares its claws for X-Men special edition

Filed under: Marketing/Advertising, Crossover, Kia, TV/Movies

Kia Sorento X-Men Edition

We all know what Batman drives. Chrysler even postulated at what Superman would drive with its special Ram Power Wagon. But what would the X-Men drive? According to Kia, the Sorento you see here.

Unveiled to promote the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, this special Sorento has been done up in a unique livery inspired by one of Marvel's superheroes. Just which one, Kia's not saying, inviting fans to vote on its Facebook page - but unless those claws on the front are magnetized, we're pretty sure you can guess.

The special Kia Sorento will be displayed at the Australian Open, which Kia is also sponsoring, and will be followed by a video of tennis star Rafael Nadal teaming up with the team of mutants and jumping in the Sorento to take on a patrol of Sentinels.

This isn't the first time, of course, that we've seen Kia take inspiration from comic-book superheroes, but its previous collaborations - highlighted by a quintet of show cars unveiled at SEMA two years ago - were with rival DC's Justice League.

Continue reading Kia Sorento bares its claws for X-Men special edition

Kia Sorento bares its claws for X-Men special edition originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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19
Nov

Kia KX3 crossover concept leaked

Filed under: Concept Cars, China, Crossover, Kia, Misc. Auto Shows

Kia KX35 Concept

Despite all the focus on the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, there's another increasingly important event happening on the other side of the planet. The Guangzho Motor Show is yet another expression of China's growing automotive might. Not only does the show boast a concurrent introduction with the LA Auto Show, in the form of the Mercedes-Maybach S600, but it has at least one exclusive item, with the Kia KX3 Concept.

Looking like a Soul mixed with a Sportage, the KX3 heralds the arrival of a production model based on the Hyundai ix35, known here in the US as the Hyundai Tucson. Whether that model will make Stateside, though, is another story.

If it does, World Car Fans claims it will be with either a 2.0-liter four-cylinder or a 1.6-liter turbocharged four, both of which should be familiar to Hyundai/Kia shoppers. While WCF says there will be a manual-transmission option, we shouldn't count on any gearbox beyond a dual-clutch automatic.

We'll have more on the KX3 Concept when it makes its official debut in China.

Kia KX3 crossover concept leaked originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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12
Nov

Hyundai, Kia announce buyback plan for angry Korean investors

Filed under: Hyundai, Kia, South Korea

Policemen walk past a logo of Hyundai mo

Hyundai's controversial decision last September to move its Korean headquarters to an expansive (and expensive) new facility was met with a swift backlash by shareholders. After making the biggest land purchase in South Korean history, the company's share price took a nine-point nose dive.

Now, in a bid to get back in the good graces of its stockholders, Hyundai and its subsidiary, Kia, will make a $615-million stock buyback plan. Reuters claims this is the first time in ten years that Hyundai has made a buyback offer with the explicit purpose of pumping up share prices.

The total deal bumped up Hyundai's share prices 5.7 percent while Kia is up two percent, although neither company has fully recovered from the battering that followed the headquarters announcement. It's unclear what else it will take for Hyundai to recover the ground it lost during the land deal.

Hyundai, Kia announce buyback plan for angry Korean investors originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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8
Nov

Weekly Recap: Kia forges fresh identity with LeBron James, racing and a luxury car

Filed under: Motorsports, SEMA Show, Marketing/Advertising, Chrysler, Jaguar, Kia, Design/Style, Luxury, Fiat

Lebron James 2015 Kia K900

"The truth of the matter is we have some pretty damn good quality." - Michael Sprague

Kia is on pace to post it best-ever sales year in the United States, yet executives admit the company is still hampered by the lingering memories of its old products, which were often viewed as cheap and unreliable.

"Quality continues to be an issue for us from a perception standpoint - not from a reality standpoint," said Michael Sprague, Kia's executive vice president of sales and marketing.

For emphasis he added: "The truth of the matter is we have some pretty damn good quality."

Scores from J.D. Power and others bear this out, though Kia is still frustrated that public perception has lagged. This has led to a number of high profile - and expensive - efforts to change the hearts and minds of consumers, including signing NBA mega star LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers as a spokesman. James, a noted car aficionado, is being used to pitch the K900, Kia's first luxury sedan. Though the K900 isn't expected to generate a large sales volume, Kia hopes the V8-powered, rear-wheel drive luxury car will burnish the brand's image.

Continue reading Weekly Recap: Kia forges fresh identity with LeBron James, racing and a luxury car

Weekly Recap: Kia forges fresh identity with LeBron James, racing and a luxury car originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 08 Nov 2014 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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8
Nov

Weekly Recap: Kia forges fresh identity with LeBron James, racing and a luxury car

Filed under: Motorsports, SEMA Show, Marketing/Advertising, Chrysler, Jaguar, Kia, Design/Style, Luxury, Fiat

Lebron James 2015 Kia K900

"The truth of the matter is we have some pretty damn good quality." - Michael Sprague

Kia is on pace to post it best-ever sales year in the United States, yet executives admit the company is still hampered by the lingering memories of its old products, which were often viewed as cheap and unreliable.

"Quality continues to be an issue for us from a perception standpoint - not from a reality standpoint," said Michael Sprague, Kia's executive vice president of sales and marketing.

For emphasis he added: "The truth of the matter is we have some pretty damn good quality."

Scores from J.D. Power and others bear this out, though Kia is still frustrated that public perception has lagged. This has led to a number of high profile - and expensive - efforts to change the hearts and minds of consumers, including signing NBA mega star LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers as a spokesman. James, a noted car aficionado, is being used to pitch the K900, Kia's first luxury sedan. Though the K900 isn't expected to generate a large sales volume, Kia hopes the V8-powered, rear-wheel drive luxury car will burnish the brand's image.

Continue reading Weekly Recap: Kia forges fresh identity with LeBron James, racing and a luxury car

Weekly Recap: Kia forges fresh identity with LeBron James, racing and a luxury car originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 08 Nov 2014 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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5
Nov

Kia K900 with 650 hp debuts at SEMA

Filed under: Aftermarket, Concept Cars, SEMA Show, Sedan, Performance, Kia, Design/Style



Kia revealed a monster-powered K900 - with output approaching 650 horsepower - this week at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Fittingly called the "High-Performance" K900, the sedan gets a Garrett 2871R twin-turbo application, which boosts the 5.0-liter V8 engine from its stock rating of 420 hp.

The heady power is underscored by a sinister appearance package, which includes a custom body kit with carbon-fiber inserts, blacked-out chrome trim and 21-inch gloss black wheels. The K900 also has a lowered Eibach suspension and eight-piston brakes with 15-inch cross-drilled rotors.

Inside are tan leather seats with black suede accents. Eleven-inch monitors are mounted in the seatbacks, and the trunk features a specially designed compartment for a racing suit.

Sound good? Don't get too excited: the "High Performance" K900 is only a SEMA show car, and Kia has no plans for production.

Continue reading Kia K900 with 650 hp debuts at SEMA

Kia K900 with 650 hp debuts at SEMA originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Nov 2014 17:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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5
Nov

Kia plies SEMA attendees with beer and ice cream food trucks

Filed under: Aftermarket, Concept Cars, Motorsports, SEMA Show, SUV, Kia, Specialty, Design/Style



Kia's 2014 SEMA Show theme is "A Day At The Races," and in addition to a very powerful K900 luxury sedan, the company has revealed several vehicles that would make any day at the track more comfortable - and tasty.

The Ballast Point Sedona is a complete about-face for Kia's minivan, turning the family hauler into a beer truck for infield parties. As the name implies, the Sedona features beer on tap from the Ballast Point, a San Diego-based craft brewery. The vehicle also has restaurant-grade stainless steel counters, extra space for kegs and audio speakers integrated into the roof.

After seeing this Sedona, we actually now kinda like the idea of a minivan-based truck model. Are we nuts?

Those with a sweet tooth will be drawn to the Smitten Ice Cream Soul EV. It's painted cherry red with white upholstery inside, and the retro-look vehicle has room for the requisite ice cream maker.

Though Kia is catering to racing fans, it also built something for drivers. Billed as the "Ultimate Karting Sedona," this take on the minivan offers room for racing gear, tools and spare tires. There's a rack for a kart on top of the Sedona, and there's a trailer to pull a second kart for particularly serious enthusiasts.

And for professionals who have graduated from the karting realm, Kia is also showing off its latest Pirelli World Challenge GTS Optima.

Continue reading Kia plies SEMA attendees with beer and ice cream food trucks

Kia plies SEMA attendees with beer and ice cream food trucks originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Nov 2014 15:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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3
Nov

Hyundai-Kia fuel-economy errors trigger $300M in federal penalties [w/video]

Filed under: Government/Legal, Hyundai, Kia, Earnings/Financials

2012 Hyundai Accent

This amount includes $100-million in civil penalties, the largest such fines in EPA history.

Hyundai and Kia are getting more than a slap on the wrist for overstating the fuel economy of an estimated 1.2-million vehicles in their 2011-2013 model ranges. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice and the California Air Resources Board are hitting the automakers with collective penalties valued at around $300 million for Clean Air Act violations. This amount includes $100-million in civil penalties, the largest such fines in EPA history. Specifically, Hyundai is paying a $56.8 million penalty and relinquishing 2.7-million greenhouse gas emissions credits. Kia is paying $43.2 million in penalties and giving up 2.05-million credits.

Those emissions credits are estimated to be worth around $200 million by the EPA, and the agency is also requesting a further $50-million investment to prevent future Clean Air Act violations from the automakers. CARB will receive $6,343,400 of the $100 million settlement.

Hyundai says that it is forming "an independent certification test group" to supervise testing, training and reporting. The automaker is also auditing its 2015-2016 model-year vehicles to check their accuracy. Hyundai and Kia previously announced owner compensation programs for the differences in fuel economy ratings and Hyundai tells Autoblog that it has since settled all related consumer lawsuits.

This settlement comes in reaction to the Korean brands' infamous fuel-economy markdowns in 2012. The EPA claims that over the life of these vehicles, they will add 4.75-million metric tons of CO2 more than the EPA had certified, hence the credit penalties it is assessing. "In processing test data, Hyundai and Kia allegedly chose favorable results rather than average results from a large number of tests," said the agency in its statement. On its end, the regulator is planning to issue more specific rules on economy testing for all automakers.

For its part, Hyundai continues to cite not only a "data processing error related to the coastdown testing method" that's part of the EPA test schedule, but also vagueness within certain parameters of the government-mandated testing (including things like a wide allowable temperature spectrum and tire condition during testing) for inconsistencies in fuel-economy measuring.

Scroll down for Hyundai, Kia and the EPA's statements of the settlement. There's also a helpful video from Hyundai explaining more about how fuel economy is tested, including detailing some of the issues it has with the EPA's testing methodology. For its part, Kia has posted more details about its side of the settlement on the Frequently Asked Questions portion of its Kia MPG Info website.

Continue reading Hyundai-Kia fuel-economy errors trigger $300M in federal penalties [w/video]

Hyundai-Kia fuel-economy errors trigger $300M in federal penalties [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Nov 2014 12:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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31
Oct

Hyundai/Kia’s Prius rival to arrive by 2017

Filed under: Hybrid, Technology, Hatchback, Hyundai, Kia, South Korea

Hyundai Prius-fighter spy shots

The Toyota Prius is the undisputed king of the hybrid market, but Hyundai and Kia are hoping to challenge its reign in the coming years with their own dedicated model. However, in all likelihood this is the same technology being shared between them. "We will take the lead in the future by raising the competitiveness of our environment-friendly cars like hybrid-only cars, plug-in hybrid cars and fuel cell hydrogen cars," Hyundai Motor CEO Kim Choong-ho said to Reuters, during the launch of another vehicle in South Korea.

While Kim didn't say when the model would be ready, Autocar in Europe spoke to people at Kia, who said that the company's own hybrid was two years away and codenamed the DE. The initial vehicle is reportedly a five-door hatchback that's about 169-inches long, with more conventional styling than the Prius. Its powertrain is reportedly based around a 1.6-liter engine with electric assist. A plug-in version might follow later, and other bodystyles on the platform are possible. A recently spotted test mule might show the current state of development on the project (pictured above).

According to Reuters, the decision for the new vehicle comes in order to meet tighter emissions in some markets. However, it seems like a challenging move for the US market. Hyundai already sells its Tucson fuel cell in limited quantities and the Sonata hybrid, and Kia has the Optima hybrid and Soul EV. Industry analysts are also predicting that hybrids might have a hard time versus internal combustion engines in the coming years. In addition, Toyota is rumored to get fuel economy close to 60 miles per gallon for some versions of the next Prius. All of these factors make selling the models here a potentially difficult undertaking.

Hyundai/Kia's Prius rival to arrive by 2017 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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