New Kia K5 Launched in South Korea

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Kia Motors launched its flagship midsize Kia K5 sedan on Wednesday, aiming to make a difference in the SUV-dominated domestic car market.

Kia said that it aims to sell 46,000 units of the newly-launched Kia K5 midsize sedan this year. The all-new K5, which was officially launched in a media showcase and will also be sold in global markets including the U.S. within this year, the automaker said.

Since June 22 when it was first unveiled, Kia Motors has received around 8,500 preorders for the K5. Kia invested 490 billion won in the five-year project to develop an “advanced sporty sedan.” “Comparing with the first generation K5, which had 6,000 preorders, we are confident that we will achieve our sales targets for the new K5,” said Seo Bo-won, Kia’s domestic marketing director.

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“Until now the midsize sedan has had classy but lackluster designs. By launching two different faces, we wanted to change that and appeal to the younger generation looking for sportier look and better driving performance,” said Kim Chang-sik, executive vice president  of the company’s domestic sales division.

The coupe-like sedan has extended side windows and a wider wheelbase, while its fuel efficiency and safety features have been upgraded.

Under the slogan “two faces with five hearts,” the new K5 comes in two models _ the modern K5 MX and sporty K5 SX ― along with five engine types, including 1.6 T-GDi and 1.7 diesel engines.

“The K5 has been a symbol of Kia’s innovation and design. The latest K5 went one step further and is the new standard for Korean midsize sedans,” said Kia Motors President Park Han-woo during the launch event.

The K5 hybrid will be launched in the latter half of this year, while the plug-in electric vehicle version will be launched in the first half of next year, the carmaker said.

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It offers diverse safety features such as seven airbags and emergency brake assist. It also has an expanded ratio of advanced high-strength steel of 51 percent, up from 21 percent in the previous model. Other features include a wireless charger where drivers can charge their smartphones by placing them in the tray under the center fascia.

Kia Motors said that it also made efforts to improve fuel efficiency. For the 1.7 diesel CRDi engine model, its fuel efficiency is 16.8kmpl.

The new K5 is 4,855mm long, 1,860mm wide, stands at 1,465mm and has a wheel base of 2,805mm, which is 10-25 mm larger than the previous model. The new K5 ranges from 22.45 million won to 29.2 million won, depending on trims and options.

Kia Motors said that the K5 will outperform its rival models such as the Passat of Volkswagen in terms of fuel efficiency and driving performance.

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Meanwhile, Kia Motors CEO Park Han-woo said during a press conference that the overall external market situations for the automaker remain tough.

He cited the weak yen, euro and intensifying competition in the U.S. where rival companies engage in aggressive marketing drives.

Asked whether the company’s annual sales target could be lowered against such tough situations, Park said that it will stick to its annual sales target of 3.15 million units at home and abroad.

“All of us are working hard even now to achieve the target. There is no scale back or adjustment to our business plan and we will strive to make it by the end of the year,” he said.

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