Automotive News Europe Editor-in-Chief Harald Hamprecht had a chance to chat with Mr. Hank Lee, Vice Chairman of Kia Motors Corporation. A very interesting interview, which is published at Automotive News website, reveals some details on how Kia plans to enhance the perception of the brand to become a people’s choice.
Kia made huge progress in the quality of their vehicles and the company aims to further improve its up-coming vehicles. According to Mr. Hank Lee, the brand is working hard to enhance ride and handling of its cars and introduce new powertrain technologies. Reportedly, Kia is working on a series of eco-friendly cars, including a full-electric small crossover vehicle, Optima 2.0L Hybrid car and fuel cell powered vehicle.
Speaking of a small crossover vehicle, the model is coming out in 2014 and will go on sale in all major markets, including USA, Europe, Korea and Russia. No further details have been revealed, but the vehicle is rumored to be based on the same platform as next-generation Soul crossover. Europeans will also get a brand-new Kia Optima Hybrid next year. Unlike the US-specs Optima hybrid, the “Euro-model” will feature a brand-new 2.0L four-cylinder engine coupled with an electric motor.
The interview also provides information about the carmaker’s near-future expansion plans and sales projections. Kia will expand its dealer network in the States and add more capacity to its current manufacturing plants in Europe and USA. It has currently no plans to build additional production factories anytime soon.