News Column

Kia Presents 3 New Models in NY

March 28, 2013

Brent Snavely

2014 Kia Optima. (Photo: Kia Motors America)
2014 Kia Optima. (Photo: Kia Motors America)

Kia revealed three models today at the New York International Auto Show.

The Korean automaker has grown rapidly in the U.S. in recent years with aggressive styling, low prices and by rapidly bringing new vehicles to market.

The unveiling of an updated Optima midsize sedan, a two door version of the compact Forte and a redesigned Kia Soul demonstrated how Kia plans to continue that strategy.

The funky, angular compact Soul put Kia on the map when it was first introduced in 2009. Today, the company saved the Soul for last today in New York.

The design of the 2014 Soul was inspired by the Track'ster concept, first shown in 2012.

The new Soul has a stiffer chassis that is longer and wider.

"When the first Soul was introduced in 2009, everyone at Kia believed we had a hit on our hands, but we didn't realize how big that hit was going to be," Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing and communications at Kia Motors America said.

Kia sold more than 115,000 Souls in 2012, a 13.2% increase over the prior year.

The Forte Koup SX two-door joins the four-door and hatchback versions of the compact car. It starts at just under $16,000 and will go on sale this fall.

Powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder, turbocharged engine, the Forte Koup can kick out 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.

The Forte EX comes with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine produces 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque.

Kia gained market share in the U.S. in 2012 for the 18th consecutive year, selling more than 557,000 cars, up 14.9% from 2011.

But for all of Kia's brash marketing and recent growth, the brand is often overshadowed by Hyundai, its corporate sibling that owns 34% of it.

Globally, the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group sold about 6.5 million vehicles in 2011, making it the world's fifth-largest automaker.

With the new models, unveiled today, Kia hopes to continue its momentum into 2013 and beyond.

Source: (c)2013 the Detroit Free Press Distributed by MCT Information Services

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