- New C-Segment car intended to increase volumes globally
SEOUL December 2 2003 ? The new Kia Cerato will make its global premiere at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2004. Available in both a four and five door version, the new car will replace the current Spectra.
The car on display at Detroit will be the four door version, which is expected to be more popular in the United States. It will also retain the Spectra name in the U.S. The five door version of the car will be launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
The Cerato is the latest in a line of sixteen new models which Kia plans to bring to market by 2007. The most recent, the Opirus premium sedan, was launched in Europe in November and will be available in the U.S. from later this year.
Kia’s global distributor network had an opportunity to test drive the Cerato at Kia’s Global Distributors’ Convention in Sydney, Australia at the end of November.
Milco de Vries, managing director of Kia Nederland, Kia’s 2003 Distributor of the Year, said of the car, “The Cerato offers an excellent blend of performance and quality and still manages to be one of the most competitive cars in the market. We expect it to be a very strong contender with the more established brands in the European market.”
Kia, which exported its 4 millionth car in October, sees the car as an important strategic model in its goal to become, as part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, one of the world’s top five automakers by 2010.
"The Sorento has done an outstanding job of raising the profile of Kia around the world,” says Kia COO Yong-Hwan Kim. “The Cerato and the Picanto A-segment car, which we unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, will take that to the next level by building significant volumes, especially in the U.S. and Europe.”
Kia exported cars worth a total $5.3 billion from July 2002 to June 2003. The company’s performance won government recognition on November 28 when the Korea International Trading Association, in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy, awarded Kia an Export Tower award for 12 month export sales and a Gold Medal for overall export performance. Moody’s Investor Service also upgraded the company’s long term outlook from “stable” to “positive”, citing Kia’s increasing share of the global market as a key rationale. However, the company is just getting started, says Mr Kim.
"2003 will see Kia’s export sales increase by more than 30% over last year. 2004 will see three major volume builders join the lineup ? the Picanto and the four and five door versions of the Cerato. Kia is already the fastest growing brand in Europe. We are confident that more and more people will be attracted to the great value that is represented by the Kia badge.”
Kia plans to export 98,400 Ceratos in 2004, rising to 128,000 in 2005.
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com) is among the world's fastest growing automobile companies. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to be a top five global automaker by 2010. Kia's 15 manufacturing and assembly operations in 12 countries make more than a million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 190 countries. Founded in 194, Kia is Korea's oldest manufacturer of automobiles. Kia today has 30,000 employees and annual revenues of $12 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and the international sponsor of the Davis Cup for the Euro/Africa zone.