[THE INVESTOR] Kia Motors is gearing up to unveil its latest Smart Compact All New Morning, the new third generation line of its Morning compact car series, the company said on Jan. 4.
The new line marks the first new edition of Kia’s compact series in six years. It will be available to the public starting Jan. 17.
An interior view of the soon to be released Kia Smart Compact All New Morning. Hyundai Motor Group
Emphasizing a sleek new design, color palate and smart internet technology features, the new Kia Morning series couples practicality with lifestyle and comfort, the company said.
Also known as the Kia Picanto overseas, the vehicles will be equipped with the latest in wireless technology including Apple’s CarPlay and Bluetooth capabilities.
“Compared to the previous generation of cars, the Smart Compact All New Morning line focuses on a new design and more comfortable features, including smart IT options and a much wider, yet still slim, interior,” said Jung Rag, executive vice president of Hyundai Motor Group, during a press conference at the Hyundai-Kia Research and Development Center in Namyang, Gyeonggi Province, Wednesday morning.
“We are anticipating the new series to not only be a huge success in Korea, as our compact cars have been over the past years, but all across the globe,” Jung added.
With soaring gas prices, compact cars or city cars are seeing high demand in Korea as well as other parts of the world. According to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association, 72,151 subcompact cars were sold in Korea in the first half of last year, outselling compact sedans by 2,173 units.
Kia’s new line of Morning cars comes more than a year after Chevrolet released it latest New Spark compact car line. The Chevy Spark was ranked the fifth best-selling car in Korea last year -- the only non-Hyundai vehicle to make the Top Ten list -- while the Kia Morning came in at the No. 7 spot.
Looking to overtake Chevy’s Spark, Kia Morning customers will save on average roughly 340,000 won ($282) to 840,000 won on the Smart Compact compared to its competitor‘s listed pricing.
The third generation of Morning compacts also include two new grade options -- the “Prestige” and “Lady” editions.
Targeted at Kia’s large share of female car owners, the Lady edition cars will feature larger sun visor mirrors with lighting, a heated steering wheel, a sliding center console, as well as an autonomous emergency braking system, which will be the first of its kind for a Korean compact car.
The four-door compact car has a price range of 10.75 million won to 10.95 million won for the Basic Plus models; 11.15 million won to 11.35 million won for the Deluxe; and 13.15 million won to 13.35 million for the Luxury models.
The Lady edition is listed from 13.5 million won to 13.7 million won, while the Prestige grade cars are from 14 million won to 14.2 million won.
By Julie Jackson/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)