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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hyundai redesigns dashboard for hybrid car
2009.06.22 08:25
Korea Herald, Herald Media INC.
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Hyundai Motor Co. yesterday released images of the newly designed dashboard for the liquefied petroleum gas-electric hybrid version of the Avante compact sedan.

The car, which will be launched next month, is the country`s first hybrid electric that comes with a 1.6-liter LPG engine that manages 17.8 kilometers per liter of fuel.

The dashboard has an image of a plant that lights up if the car is maintained at the highest fuel efficiency.

The dashboard also has an Eco Guide display that tells the driver how economically the car is being driven.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Renault Samsung unveils New SM3
2009.06.22 08:25
Korea Herald

Renault Samsung Motors Co.`s New SM3 compact sedan was revealed to the media at a test drive event last week.

The car is scheduled for local launch in early July. It will be priced in the 14 million won ($11,100) range. The most expensive RE trim will be priced in the 18 million won range. The exact prices will be made known nearer the time of the launch.

The car is the first full-model change the company has given the SM3 compact sedan, which was first launched in 2002.

The New SM3 will target motorists in their 30s as a family car while the old version, which is not being discontinued, will continue to be marketed to younger drivers.

"The SM3 will be continued for the time being as there is still demand for the vehicle, but for how long the car will be produced has not yet been decided," said Song Eung-seok, the program director for New SM3 development.

"As the target consumers are different for the two cars, there will not be cannibalization between the New SM3 and SM3."

The car will be exported under the Renault brand, but the company said that the export destinations have not yet been decided.

The New SM3, which manages 15 kilometers per liter of fuel, is built on Renault Nissan Alliances` C-platform and comes with the 1.6-liter H4M engine and the Xtronic continuously variable transmission.

The company has gone far to make the New SM3 stand out. As with other recently-launched compact sedans, the New SM3 is laden with features usually reserved for larger segments.

Such features include a Bose sound system and air conditioning system that can be independently controlled for the driver and passenger seats.

The car is also the first compact to come with a 6-way adjustable driver`s seat.

The New SM3 is the only vehicle in its segment to come with a smart card system that allows drivers to lock and open the door and turn on the ignition by remote control. A built-in, touch operated navigation system with a 7-inch screen is also available for the two most expensive trims, LE Plus and RE.

Standard safety features include Electronic Brake Force Distribution-Antilock Braking System and Brake Assist System. The car also has the largest brake discs in the compact car segment.

A passenger airbag is fitted as standard equipment, and side and curtain airbags are available as optional features in all trim levels.

In addition to having high-tech convenience and safety features, the New SM3 has been given the largest body in its segment, giving the car a spacious interior.

Having spent 320 billion won and 31 months developing the new car, the company has high hopes for the New SM3.

Although Renault Samsung officials declined to provide exact sales targets, company executives said that the company is hoping that the New SM3 will become one of the two best selling compact cars or even take the top place in the segment.

To take the second place, the company will have to sell more than 4,000 units of the car per month. To overtake Hyundai Motor Co.`s Avante, the country`s bestselling compact car of which 41,909 units have been sold during the first five months of the year, Renault Samsung will have to sell over 8,000 units per month.

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By Choi He-suk
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1 millionth Hyundai car sent to Africa
Korea Herald
2009.06.24 05:30

Hyundai Motor Co. announced yesterday that the 1 millionth vehicle bound for Africa was loaded yesterday.

The 1 million mark was broken 33 years after the company first began exporting to the region in 1976.

The first Hyundai car exported to the African market was the compact car Pony, and the company sold 207 vehicles on the continent in its first year.

Hyundai`s sales there have been growing rapidly since 2005 when its accumulative exports broke the 500,000 mark.

Having sold over 153,000 vehicles in the region in 2007, the company currently has the second largest share of the market after Toyota Motor Corp.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Kia Soul'ster awarded 2009 Concept Truck of the Year
[ Grace Won 2009-06-26 ]


SEOUL, Korea (AVING) -- <Visual News> Kia Motors America announced the open-air Soul'ster Concept, which made its debut at the 2009 North American International Auto Show(NAIAS) in January, was named the 2009 Concept Truck of the Year during the 2009 North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan.

Honored for its beach-ready prowess and creative design, Soul'ster is the first concept from Kia Motors to receive one of the coveted Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards, proving that a small, personal-use truck can still be fun and capable.

The eighth annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards recognize those vehicles most likely to shape the future of the automobile industry and are organized by the South East Automotive Media Organization. A jury of more than two dozen North American automotive journalists selected the winners from 23 Concept Vehicles and 11 Production Preview Vehicles that made a North American debut during the 2009 auto show season.

Global News Network 'AVING'
by Grace Won( www.aving.net)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kia Motors improves fuel economy
2009.06.25 08:55
Korea Herald

Kia Motors Corp. said yesterday that the diesel versions of the Sorento R sports utility vehicle will be fitted with the Active Eco System. The Active Eco System is a vehicle regulating system that limits the top speed to 140 kilometers per hour and reduces the engine torque to lower fuel consumption. The button-activated system also regulates the air conditioning and transmission to optimize fuel economy.

This is the first time an active fuel-saving system has been used in a domestic vehicle. The models fitted with the new system are Sorento R 2.2 diesel and the new Sorento R 2.0 diesel that was launched yesterday.

The new Sorento R 2.0 comes with a 2-liter diesel engine that puts out 182 brake horsepower. The car`s fuel economy comes in at 15 kilometers per liter and as the vehicle meets Euro 4 emission standards, the Sorento R 2.0 is exempt from the environment tax levied on diesel vehicles for four years.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
2010 Kia Soul recognized on “Coolest New Cars Under $18,000” list by Kelly Blue Book’s KBB.com
2009.06.24 09:09

(Seoul=뉴스와이어) Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced the all-new 2010 Soul urban passenger vehicle was named to the 2009 Top 10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000 list by Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com, the leading provider of new car and used car information. The Soul joined Kia Motors' ever-expanding lineup in March and was lauded for being cool, affordable ride with a growing emphasis on personality, versatility and technology.



"Soul's personality really has made an impact with consumers and the media, who are realizing you don't have to spend a lot of money to make a statement," said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing, KMA. "We are pleased that Soul is being recognized for its playfulness and versatility but also that it is appreciated for its economical attributes that affect real world purchase decisions."

Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com editors selected the latest list of Top 10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000 using the same set of criteria that many consumers use in examining this category: safety, fuel economy, interior size, comfort, technology, the vehicle's fun-to-drive-factor, as well as the decidedly subjective "cool" factor.

The editors compiled the list of qualifying vehicles using Kelley Blue Book's New Car Blue Book Values, which reflect real-world transaction prices and provide a more useful comparison point than Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP).

On Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com Web site, editors state, "You don't have to drop the big bucks to get a car with kickin' style and all the techie gadgets required to get by in the world today. Every Kia Soul comes with standout styling, Bluetooth phone connectivity, an auxiliary audio input and iPod integration. But the pulsing speaker lights are the first things you'll show your friends."

Also a recipient of the 2009 "Best Value" award by the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) and the "Grooviest Interior" award from Ward's AutoWorld, Soul is available in four trims, Soul, Soul+, Soul! (exclaim) and Soul sport.

Soul stands out from the crowd with modern, unique styling aimed toward the young and young-at-heart and offers a unique combination of style, value and personalization options. An available Audio Upgrade Package includes speaker lights that can pulse to the beat of the music or add mood lighting to the interior cabin, enhancing the overall personal lounge feeling. The Soul+ offers funky black cloth seats with "glowing" Soul logo inserts while the Soul! trim comes with a distinctive sand-black interior with houndstooth-patterned inserts, and the Soul sport presents a bold red-black interior trim with red-trimmed cloth seats and metal-finish interior accents.

Rolling out now, the special edition 2010 Denim Kia Soul is a unique iteration of the popular urban passenger vehicle that further emphasizes Soul's cutting edge style and youthful, fun character. The Denim Soul is the first of more special editions to be offered in 2010 for the Kia Soul.

For more information about the 2009 Top 10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000 by Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com, visit www.kbb.com/coolcars2009.

www.newswire.co.kr
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Kia Motors to launch its locally-manufactured Forte in China
Grace Won 2009-06-23



SEOUL, Korea (AVING) -- <Visual News> Kia Motors' latest addition to its extensive line-up, the C-segment Forte (known as 'all-new Cerato' in some countries), was introduced to the local Chinese market during the Nanjing International Expo Centre at its official launching ceremony.

The local model will be sold under the name 'Fu-Rui-Di', which combines the Chinese characters for luck, auspiciousness and advance. The name alludes to a car designed for those who lead the road to success. Its pronunciation is also similar to the English name 'Forte.'

Incorporating localized elements into its vehicles is one of Kia's mandates to satisfy consumer tastes in the markets in which it serves. The model will be produced locally at one of two plants jointly owned by Kia Motors and Dongfeng Yueda in the Jiangsu province.

Local preferences have been reflected in the exterior and interior designs of the Forte, along with its convenience features. The exterior has been revamped to include newly designed large fog lamps; the head lamps, rear lamps and radiator grille have also adopted a more striking appearance. In the interior, chrome finishings were adopted to the center fascia and main switches. High-lustre metal grain has been generously used to satisfy Chinese consumer tastes for sophisticated styling.

The Forte is Kia's first model for the Chinese market to feature the eco-driving system that color-codes driving patterns to help drivers maximize their gas mileage. This is in response to the growing interest among drivers for fuel-efficient vehicles. The car's commercial appeal is further enhanced with the addition of a push start ignition smart key, SupervisionTM gauge cluster and auto cruise control. Information on the instrument cluster and audio screen are all displayed in Chinese, instead of English.

Forte is powered by a 1.6L Gamma engine or 2.0L Theta engine in China where the majority of C-segment vehicles are equipped with 1.6L or 1.8L engines. This makes the Forte the most powerful model among competitors, including the Volkswagen Jetta, Buick Excelle, Toyota Corolla and Nissan Tiida.

Global News Network 'AVING'
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Kia Borrego rated tops in Edmunds.com consumer award in the US
2009.06.19 08:59

(Seoul=뉴스와이어) Kia Motors America (KMA) announced the 2009 Kia Borrego (known as 'Mohave' in some markets) has been named the top-rated 'SUV $25,000-$35,000' in the 2009 Edmunds.com Consumers' Top RatedSM Vehicle awards in the US. Borrego earned strong marks from consumers for its overall excellent value, along with impressive power and towing capacity, interior space, visibility, fuel economy and extensive list of standard features.


"Borrego offers those looking for a spacious, powerful and fuel efficient vehicle the complete package at an incredible value," said Michael Sprague, Vice President of Marketing, KMA. "As one of the first vehicles to roll out under Kia's exciting new design direction, accolades such as this Edmunds.com award, which provides feedback directly from owners, are evidence of Kia's commitment to consumers as well as to offering vehicles with the features consumers want without breaking the pocketbook."

To determine the winners of the 19 vehicle categories, Edmunds.com invited owners to use the Consumer Reviews and Ratings feature, where they are able to evaluate their new or used vehicles in eight different categories, including performance, comfort, fuel economy, driving impressions, interior design, exterior design, build quality and reliability. Top-rated vehicles are those that received the highest average rating from visitors as of April 30.

Borrego is offered with a DOHC, all-aluminum 3.8-liter V6 as well as Kia's first-ever DOHC 4.6-liter V8 engine, also all-aluminum; both engines are more powerful than any in Kia's line to date. While the V6 produces a competitive 276 horsepower at 6,000 rpm with 267 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm, the V8 generates a class-leading* 337 horsepower at 6,000 rpm with 323 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm - more powerful than the Toyota 4Runner, Honda Pilot, Jeep

Grand Cherokee and GMC Acadia. Borrego runs on regular unleaded fuel compared to some other competitors that require premium unleaded, and achieves best-in-class** fuel economy of 15/22 city/highway for its V8 with two-wheel drive, and a respectable 15/20 city/highway for its V8 with four-wheel drive.

* Compared to 2008 midsize SUVs
** Compared to 2008 EPA highway fuel economy estimates for midsize SUVs with V8 2WD. Actual mileage may vary.

www.newswire.co.kr
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Renault extends deal with Samsung Group
2009.06.26 03:25

Renault Samsung Motors Co. said yesterday that Renault S.A. and Samsung Group extended the joint venture agreement and trademark license agreement until 2020.

Following the extension, Samsung Group will maintain its 19.9 percent stake in Renault Samsung until 2020, and Renault Samsung will be able to continue to use Samsung Group`s logo and name until the same year.

The company said that the extension of agreements is based on mutual trust between Renault and Samsung and that it will allow the company to execute its strategies more efficiently.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
LG Chem breaks ground for car battery plant
2009.06.11 03:40
Korea Herald

LG Chem, the biggest chemicals maker in the country, broke ground for the construction of a 1 trillion won ($794.4 million) electric-car battery plant in the Ochang Techno Park in Cheongwon, North Chungcheong Province, yesterday.

The new plant, scheduled to be opened in the first half of next year, will supply lithium-ion batteries to General Motors from the second half of next year.

"We are running out of fossil fuels, and global warming makes the development of eco-friendly energy sources a key issue for survival," LG Chem CEO Kim Bahn-suk said in the groundbreaking ceremony. "The high performance, high efficient electric car batteries produced here will be a key ingredient for the futuristic and environmentally-friendly car technologies," he said.

In January, the U.S. automaker picked LG Chem to produce batteries for the Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric car. Recently, GM reaffirmed that it would stick to its original production schedule for Volt, although it filed for bankrupcy protection in the United States.

LG Chem has started production of hybrid-car batteries at another battery plant in Ochang. The batteries will be used for Hyundai Motor`s LPI Hybrid Avante and Kia Motors` LPG hybrid Forte, which are scheduled to be unveiled in July and September, respectively.

Participants in yesterday`s groundbreaking ceremony included Minister of Knowledge Economy Lee Youn-ho, LG Group chairman Koo Bon-moo and North Chungcheong Province Governor Chung Woo-taek. Other top LG Group executives included LG Corp. vice chairman Kang Yu-sik, LG Electronics` chief executive Nam Yong and LG International Corp. vice chairman and CEO Koo Bon-joon.

Yang Woong-chul, president of Hyundai Motor`s auto research & development division and Robert Kruse, GM`s executive director of global vehicle engineering for hybrids, also attended the ceremony.

"The government aims to grow the green car industry to be one of the world`s `big four` by the mid 2010s, and I believe LG Chem will be a valuable partner for us," Minister Lee said. "The future of the electronic car battery will also decide the future of not only the global auto industry but also the energy industry in a larger sense," he said.

LG Chem officials said global demand for electric vehicles will increase to 3.3 million by 2013 and 4.6 million by 2015. Annual revenue from the battery business are expected to top 2 trillion won by 2015.

In an effort to to ensure stable supply to GM, LG Chem is considering building a battery plant in the United States, although a detailed schedule has not been decided yet, the company said yesterday.

([email protected])
By Lee Yong-sung
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Hyundai is the Highest Ranked Non-Premium Nameplate in the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study

Hyundai Elantra Earns Highest Initial Quality Ranking in its Segment


FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- J.D. Power and Associates announced today that Hyundai is the highest ranked non-premium nameplate in the 2009 Initial Quality Study(SM) (IQS) and is ranked fourth among all nameplates. Hyundai owners had fewer problems with their vehicles than any other non-premium car or truck brand.


In addition to Hyundai's strong overall showing, the Hyundai Elantra earned the award for the highest initial quality in the compact car segment. The all-new Hyundai Genesis significantly outperforms the average midsize premium car.


This year's ranking marks the second time Hyundai has been the highest-ranked non-premium nameplate in the last four years, and the second time it finished among the top four overall nameplates, having also achieved these levels in 2006. Highlights this year include a top ranking for the Hyundai Elantra in the compact segment, and a top three segment performance for the Hyundai Accent, which ranked second in the highly competitive sub-compact car segment.


The IQS study measures 228 attributes, including the overall driving experience, engine and transmission, and a broad range of defect and design problems reported by vehicle owners.


"Outperforming all of our competitors once again is a reflection of the dedication of all Hyundai team members," said John Krafcik, Hyundai's President and CEO. "We're particularly delighted with the strong launch of Genesis, the North American Car of the Year, which surpassed several luxury competitors. We are also thrilled with how well the fuel-efficient Elantra and Accent scored."


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif. is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai cars and sport utility vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced by more than 790 Hyundai dealerships nationwide.


a relevant graph:

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Cool comforts of a sports car, fit for the family
Smooth is the key for the new SM3, which also boasts better design inside and out.

June 29, 2009
http://joongangdaily.joins.com/

The second generation SM3 from Renault Samsung

A silky smooth driving experience was what Renault Samsung Motors had in mind when it was designing its second generation SM3 - out next month. It seems to have hit its mark.

Not bad for a midsize vehicle the automaker says was designed exclusively for families with young children.

With its sporty and sophisticated design, the vehicle, the largest in the small and midsize vehicle class, is also bound to appeal to the base of young drivers in their early 20s and 30s who flocked to the first SM3.

The vehicle’s Xtronic transmission system allows the driver to go at top speeds without feeling any shifting between gears. Silky smooth as promised, and none of the sudden jerk at ignition.

This is a vast improvement from the previous SM3, and the vehicle is likely to give its competitors - Hyundai Motor’s Avante and GM Daewoo’s Lacetti - a run for their money.

The new SM3 astonished visitors to the Seoul Motor Show, where it was unveiled in April, with its completely redesigned look. The car sparked the interest of many of the young consumers in attendance and topped the passenger vehicle category.

The vehicle handles well overall. The wheel doesn’t take much muscle to maneuver but when driving at high speeds, it starts to feel heavy, allowing for better control of the vehicle.

The vehicle’s Electronic Stability Program offers a good measure of stability even at high speeds, which increases safety. The ESP system also adjusts the vehicle’s alignment to allow for better balance on curvy roads, thus eliminating the feeling of being tilted sideways when going around corners.

The smooth ride isn’t the only performance improvement generated from the Xtronic transmission. The transmission system has also increased the vehicle’s fuel economy from 13 kilometers per liter (30 miles per gallon) to 15 kilometers per liter.

The vehicle also gets a safety upgrade thanks to its EBD-ABS, or Electronic Brake Force Distribution-Anti-lock Braking System, which allows the vehicle to come to a full stop at short distances. This is a big help on slippery roads, helping to prevent the driver from losing control of the vehicle.

Of course, with all that emphasis on smoothness and safety, it does take the vehicle some time to get up to speed, but the new SM3 is a family car, after all.

Meanwhile, the vehicle’s design has also seen improvement, both inside and out.

The redesigned rear gives the vehicle a sharper and more sophisticated look than that of previous models. The new SM3 is also 100 millimeters longer and wider than its predecessor and 40 millimeters higher. This gives it the look and feel of a premium sedan. The longer head and snazzy rear lamp also give it a dynamic look.

Inside, the space is larger, with more room in the back seat if you’re taking the kids in tow or taking around long-legged guests.



When SM3 debuted in 2002 it was expected to dominate the small and midsize sedan market. However, the lack of space in the back seat was considered to be a weakness that held it back.

The second generation SM3 has completely redesigned the back seat to ensure there is more leg room.

The back seat can also be folded flat for outdoor enthusiasts who want to store big equipment such as snowboards, bicycles and other sports gear.

The new SM3 is also the first midsize vehicle with an Air Quality System and Combination Filter, an independent air cooling system that provides a cool breeze to the passengers in the back seat.

The new SM3 is also outfitted with some pretty fancy high-tech gadgets provided for sound and comfort.

It is the first, and only, in its category to install a Bose sound system, giving it the best sound in its class.

Even better, all that high quality sound suffers none of the usual interruptions from the noise generated by other vehicles at high speeds because here it is blocked out for a driving experience that is practically silent.

The vehicle also has a Bluetooth MP3 audio streaming system for as much music as its occupants can handle.

The door of the vehicle opens automatically when a hand is passed through the door handle but only when the driver is in possession of the smart key, which swaps signals with the sensors in the handle.
The smart key also lends a hand in getting things started. With the palm-sized device in hand, all that’s needed to start the vehicle is a quick press of the keyless ignition system’s on/off button.


The interior of the newly redesigned SM3 has a Bose sound system and Bluetooth MP3 audio streaming system. Provided by the company

The vehicle will sell for between 14 million won ($10,913) and 18 million won.


By Lee Ho-jeong [[email protected]]
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hyundai rises to top in Chile

2009.06.29
http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/

Hyundai Motor Co. announced on Friday that it recorded a monthly market share of 17.8 percent to take the top place in the Chilean auto market in May.

This is the first time the Korean carmaker has ranked No. 1 in terms of monthly market share.

For the first five months of the year, Hyundai ranked second after General Motors Corp., which holds 19.5 percent of the Chilean market for the period.

The company said that, buoyed by increasing sales of the Avante, Click and Verna, it has so far been able to recover from the effects of the global economic crisis on the Chilean market faster than its competitors. According to the company, during the first five months of the year Chile's automotive market shrank by 49.5 percent from the same period last year.

Along with the rise in monthly market share, the company's Chilean market share for the first five months of the year has also risen by 1.7 percentages points from that of 2008 to come in at 13.7 percent, the company said.

Hyundai's sister carmaker Kia Motors Corp.'s market share has also risen in the South American nation. According to the company, Kia sold more than 5,000 vehicles in Chile so far this year to be ranked in third place. Last year, Kia was ranked at sixth place.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Source: http://blogs.thecarconnection.com/m...-looks-to-saturn-dealerships-for-growth-spurt

Kia Looks to Saturn Dealerships For Growth Spurt

By Bengt Halvorson
June 24th, 2009

Kia is poised to conquer—in reputation, reach, and market share—this year, in a very significant way. And it could bring a better dealership experience.

As a host of other automakers and brands are holding back, Kia has shifted into high gear with several very significant introductions: the 2010 Kia Soul earlier this year, the 2010 Kia Forte this summer, followed by the 2010 Kia Forte Koup, and an all-new Sorento this fall. There’s a new Sportage expected soon as well.



If the sheer numbers are any indication, the focus on product is working; the brand’s overall year-to-year sales are down less than any brand other than Subaru, and its market share is up nearly 50 percent from last year—now breaking three percent nationally.

The catch is, Kia’s dealerships aren’t always in prime spots or prime facilities. According to Automotive News, citing Kia Motors America executives, the brand is now moving into some existing or already closed Saturn stores or asking Saturn dealers about adding an adjacent Kia store. Most Kia outlets are in rural and secondary markets, with only 60 percent of Kia’s 636 dealerships are exclusive facilities, the report says, so these new stores wouldn’t be in conflict with existing ones.

The acquisition of Saturn dealerships in some of the nation’s top auto markets is almost certainly a smart move, as most of them include huge showrooms and service facilities and have been built in recent years. Saturn has ranked in the top ten in J.D. Power & Associates’ Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI), while Kia ranks near the bottom. And though Kia has now risen, in just a few years, from near the bottom in Power’s Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) study to slightly above average, it’s still well below Saturn. For Kia, this could be the chance to take a very significant leap.

[Automotive News (sub)]
 

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Saturn is supposedly in talks with Renault about providing cars for the Saturn dealership network. It is presumed that these would in fact be Samsung rebranded. It is interesting that Kia is also looking into those smae dealerships. I wonder how Saturn the parent company would feel about two such close Korean makes being sold together? Or could that in fact be an advantage in the US?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Saturn is supposedly in talks with Renault about providing cars for the Saturn dealership network. It is presumed that these would in fact be Samsung rebranded. It is interesting that Kia is also looking into those smae dealerships. I wonder how Saturn the parent company would feel about two such close Korean makes being sold together? Or could that in fact be an advantage in the US?
I guess Penske, which will be responsible for selling Samsung cars in the US, might not be very happy to see the cars being sold together with Kia. I wonder what Penske will do with Kia's looking into the Saturn dealership network.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Auto Industry Undergoing Green Revolution

By Kim Hyun-cheol
Staff Reporter
06-29-2009 16:59


Hyundai-Kia Group is taking a step-by-step approach into the hybrid car market. At left is the Avante hybrid edition and the Forte hybrid by Kia Motors is seen at right. / Courtesy of Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group
The world's first revolutionary change in the auto industry came in early 20th century, when U.S. carmaker Ford introduced the Ford Model T as the pioneer of mass-produced vehicles. A century later, the second industrial revolution is sweeping across the globe in the name of going ``eco-friendly.''

Amid a triple jeopardy of a slumping economy, a fall in the popularity of big-sized models and rising commodity prices, the business is going through a huge paradigm shift heading for smaller vehicles, in a change compared to the wave of popularization spearheaded by the Model T.

At the heart of such a shift is the growing concern over the environment. With most countries adopting sustainable low-carbon growth as a key policy, auto industries have reached a consensus that the development of ``green cars'' is a must to secure survival in the coming years.

Carmakers are preemptively responding to the change by working on new-generation models using alternative energy sources, including hydrogen, ethanol and electricity, and hybrid cars. Of them, hybrid vehicles, which use two or more distinct power sources, are currently a leading trend among makers.

The market for eco-friendly cars, regarded as having the biggest potential for market expansion, is maturing much faster than general expected. In 2007, a total of 520,000 hybrid cars were sold throughout the world, up 35 percent from the previous year. Three years before, in 2004, the figure was less than 163,000.

Consequently, most global makers are setting goals for hybrid sales to a degree that would have been regarded impossible just years ago, in a blueprint that will decide their future business direction. Toyota aims to sell an annual 1 million hybrids in 2012, while completing hybrid editions for all of its models.

Its compatriot firm Honda expects hybrid models to take up 10 percent of all its sales next year and sell 500,000 vehicles in 2015, while their American rival General Motors plans to release 16 hybrid models by 2012.

Even local motorists here are likely to be part of the ongoing competition, as eco-friendly models from South Korea and Japan will go on sale the first time in the Korean market later this year.

This means a tough battle from the beginning. Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group is supposed to debut its first pair of hybrid models next month. Japanese makers currently account for over 90 percent of the global market, with Toyota accounting for more than 80 percent.

Korean makers, however, are taking a step-by-step approach in the competition.

Hyundai and its biggest affiliate Kia are newcomers in the war of green cars. Last November, Hyundai showcased Blue Drive, a new eco-friendly brand that brings to market a family of environmental products, at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It is also part of its attempt to shake off the old ``cheap and modest'' legacy in brand recognition.

Kia debuted this March with its own eco brand, Eco Dynamics, along with the introduction of the liquefied petroleum injection (LPI) edition of the Forte sedan. Hyundai also disclosed its Avante LPI hybrid version during April's Seoul Motor Show.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/blnus/02011765.htm

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hyundai Motor sales up nearly to 18% in June

NEW DELHI: Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), on Wednesday reported a 17.63 per cent increase in its sales at 47,267 units in June as against 40,182 units in the last fiscal.

Domestic sales grew 5.18 per cent at 23,016 units in June as against 21,881 in the same month last year. On the back large orders from the European market, the exports increased by 32.5 per cent to 24,251 units from 18,301 units, the company said.

During June, the A2 Segment (Santro, i10, Getz & i20) saw sales of 42,524 units, while in the A3 Segment (Accent & Verna) 4,706 units were sold, the company said. In the A5 Segment, the company sold 34 units of Sonata Transform, whereas only three units of Tucson were sold in the SUV Segment. - PTI
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hyundai offers $1.49 gas guarantee for buyers

By DAN STRUMPF – 1 day ago

NEW YORK (AP) — Hyundai said Tuesday that customers in the U.S. who buy or lease its vehicles by Aug. 31 will receive a gas card that lets them buy fuel at $1.49 a gallon for a year, a promotion to win over consumers worried about volatile prices at the pump.

Hyundai customers who enroll in the promotion, which launches Wednesday, will receive a gas card that bills gas purchases at $1.49 per gallon of regular-grade gas, regardless of the pump price. Though all eligible vehicles take regular gas, customers can buy mid-grade gas at $1.64 a gallon and premium gas at $1.79 a gallon, Hyundai said.

The new incentive is the second attempt this year by the Korean automaker to take pressure off apprehensive and cash-strapped buyers. In January, it launched its "Assurance" program, which offers to take back vehicles under certain conditions from Hyundai customers who lose their jobs.

The gas guarantee would save consumers $1.14 a gallon, or 57 percent, off Tuesday's average price of $2.63 per gallon of unleaded, according to the auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. However, the savings could rise or fall depending on the future direction of pump prices.

Hyundai has said one of the biggest factors holding back potential car buyers is uncertainty over the future direction of the price of gas. Fuel prices have whipsawed over the last year, peaking at a record high of $4.11 a gallon last summer, then tumbling below $2 a gallon earlier this year.

"We've extended Hyundai Assurance to cover gas prices just as peak summer demand traditionally strains budgets further," said Joel Ewanick, a vice president at Hyundai Motor America, in a statement.

Though Hyundai's sales have fallen in recent months, it has scooped up market share in the battered market from its flagging competitors in Detroit. Hyundai sales are down 8 percent for the first five months of the year, well below the industrywide decline of 37 percent. As a result, its market share has surged to 4.2 percent from 2.9 percent.

In a recent interview, Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik attributed about one-tenth of that market share gain to its Assurance program. Krafcik told The Associated Press that customers have returned only about five vehicles under the program since it was launched in January — a sign that the automaker has gotten huge bang for its buck out of the incentive.

Other carmakers have followed Hyundai with similar programs. General Motors Corp.'s "Total Confidence" program and Ford Motor Co.'s "Advantage Plan," for example, guarantee car payments for a certain time if buyers lose their jobs.

Hyundai said its gas lock incentive program will apply to all of its vehicles except its Genesis luxury sedan and coupe.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124632715747071485.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

JULY 1, 2009, 5:04 A.M. ET

Hyundai Offers Gas-Price Deal for Car Buyers

By JOHN D. STOLL
Hyundai Motor Co., looking to fuel its recent market share gains in the U.S., will kick off a new incentive program Wednesday offering consumers gasoline at $1.49-per-gallon for a year if they buy a car by Aug. 31.

Hyundai's offer, dubbed Hyundai Assurance Gas Lock, would save buyers about $1 per gallon of gasoline from current prices, but the value of the offer will fluctuate as gasoline prices rise and fall. Hyundai expects gas prices to crest above $3 per gallon this summer.


Bloomberg News/Landov
A 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is displayed for a photograph during a media test drive in Mount Kisco, New York, U.S., on Wednesday, May 20, 2009.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Kia Sportage ranks tops in AutoPacific’s 2009 Ideal Vehicle Awards in the US


http://newswire.ytn.co.kr/newsRead.php?md=A01&tm=1&no=414090

Seoul (Korea Newswire) June 29, 2009 04:56 PM -- Kia Motors America, Inc. (KMA) announced the 2009 Kia Sportage compact SUV topped the compact crossover SUV category in AutoPacific, Inc.’s 2009 Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA) in the US, closely following the AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award received earlier this year. The AutoPacific IVA awards are a quantitative measurement of how closely a vehicle matches an owner’s expectations.

“We take great pride in knowing our owners are satisfied with their vehicles and Sportage’s recognition as an ideal vehicle is a tremendous compliment,” said Michael Sprague, Vice President of Marketing, KMA. “This second AutoPacific award directly reflects the satisfaction of smart, discerning Sportage owners, and this type of consumer feedback validates Kia’s commitment to providing high levels of quality, style, safety and practicality in all of our vehicles."

Sportage, noted for its passenger and cargo space as well as its off-road capabilities and impressive fuel economy, meets the needs of consumers looking for the total package at a significant value. Sportage offers an extensive list of standard safety and convenience features, including six airbags with full-length side curtain airbags, SIRIUS Satellite Radio with three months complimentary service* and USB and auxiliary input jacks, while the 2.0-liter engine delivers impressive fuel economy at 20 mpg (city) and 25 mpg (highway).

Based on survey responses from more than 32,000 vehicle owners, the 2009 IVA measure the combination of trust, anticipation, expectations and reality within specific product segments by having respondents rate 15 attributes concerning whether they would change them after having owned their vehicle for 90 days. An ‘ideal vehicle’ is one that meets the owner’s expectations based on how few attributes they would change. Sportage received a score of 1,224 out of a possible 1,500.

In addition to Sportage’s top ranking in its segment, Kia Spectra, Optima, Sorento and Borrego ranked among the top five in each of their respective categories.

* Customers must renew SIRIUS subscription after trial period if they wish to retain service.

Editor’s Notes: Standard equipment, powertrains and specifications based on U.S. model and may vary depending on country.
 
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