- New Opirus to debut at 2003 Geneva Motor Show
SEOUL 1 November 2001 - Kia Motors Corporation announced that its new luxury sedan, codenamed GH, will be called Opirus.
The name is derived from the Biblical city of Ophir, immortalized in John Masefield`s poem "Cargoes," which begins "Quinquireme of Ninevah from distant Ophir." Ophir was a trading center renowned throughout the ancient world as a source of high-end items such as fine gold, sandlewood and exotic animals. The Opirus name carries connotations of style and luxury with classical overtones.
Designed by Sung-dae Baek, the Opirus was developed over 20 months at a cost of W200 billion (approx $164million), making it the most expensive passenger car ever developed by Kia Motors. The top-end model in Kia`s lineup, the Opirus will be available in Korea from spring 2003 and will be released in Europe around June and in the United States around August 2003. The Opirus will be officially launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2003.
Kia chief operating officer Mark Juhn said, "The new Opirus takes the Kia brand to a new level. It is an important addition to our lineup and will build on Kia`s developing reputation for providing premium grade vehicles at value prices."
The Opirus will be built at Kia`s Hwasung plant and initial production is expected to be 35,000 units per year rising to 60,000 units from 2006.
Founded in 1944, Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.co.kr) is Korea`s oldest manufacturer of automobiles. A part of the Hyundai Automobile Group, the company currently exports around 600,000 vehicles per year through a network of distributors that covers 160 countries. Kia Motors is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open.