[THE INVESTOR] Kia Motors, the sister company of Hyundai Motor, rolled out a fully changed version of its K9 flagship sedan with the aim of dominating the local large size sedan market, targeting Mercedes’ E-class as its rival, the company said on April 3.
“I am confident that customers will be able to experience Kia on a whole new level through the newly launched K9,” said Kia Motors CEO Park Han-woo at the media event held in Gangnam, southern Seoul.
Kia Motors CEO Park Han-woo (second left) poses next to Kia’s second generation flagship large size sedan K9 after its launch event in southern Seoul on April 3.
“Completing the second generation lineup of K-series models, the K9 will pioneer brand innovation of Kia Motors.”
Some 2,000 units of the new K9 have been sold in preorders for 10 days, out of the company’s sales goal to sell 15,000 units this year.
Sandwiched between G80 and EQ900, sales of the first generation K9 gradually dropped from 7,393 units -- 5,071 units here and 2,322 units overseas -- in 2013 to 2,186 units -- 579 units here and 2,186 units overseas -- last year, data from the company showed.
The new K9 is slated for release in the US in the fourth quarter of this year.
Hoping for sales to bounce back, Kia Motors gave the new K9 a new elegant look, a package of the latest safety technologies, and engine variants touting it as top notch “owner-driven luxury large sedan.”
“As Kia’s flagship sedan, the K9 was designed to fit the segment in terms of size, proportion, comfort and space. We tried to make it as good as possible,” Peter Schreyer, chief design officer of Kia Motors told The Korea Herald.
The overall size of the car has been enlarged for a grand splendid look.
The new vehicle is 5,120 millimeters long, 1,915 mm wide, 1,490mm tall with a 3,105mm wheelbase compared to the previous version that was 5,095mm in length, 1,900mm in width, 1,490mm in height and a 3,045mm wheelbase.
While rivaling EQ900, large size sedan made by Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis, the K9 and EQ900 also share the same powertrain and platform.
“To differentiate it from competing models, the new K9 was designed to heighten the driving experience and convenience for owners who plan to drive the high-end sedan, in contrast to chauffeur-driven luxury sedans,” the company said.
Kia Motors emphasized various cutting edge safety features installed in the new K9, including the Lane Following Assist that automatically controls the steering wheel and speed while maintaining a safe distance with the vehicle in front, Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control, and Blind-spot View Monitor equipped for the first time among large size cars made by the local carmaker.
The new K9 comes in three engine lineups -- 3.8 gasoline, 3.3 turbo gasoline, and 5.0 gasoline -- consisted of a total eight trims priced between 54.9 million won (US$51,934) and 93.3 million won.
In efforts to maximize the luxurious interior design, a palm sized analogue clock made by Swiss brand Maurice Lacroix has been positioned in the center fascia as well as seven mood lights developed with Pantone Color Institute.
By Kim Bo-gyung/The Korea Herald (email@example.com)