Kia Motors unveiled its new compact K3 on Monday, paving the way for fiercer competition in the nation’s small sedan market where Hyundai Motor’s Avante and Renault Samsung Motors’ SM3 have been dominant players.
Kia revealed its annual sales target of 55,000 units during a press conference held at Alpensia Resort in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, with some 200 company officials and reporters in attendance.
Kia Motors vice president Lee Hyoung-keun (left) and models pose with Kia Motor’s new compact sedan
K3 at a launching event held at Alpensia Resort in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, on Monday. (Kia Motors)
“Kia cars are creating a sensation in Korea and overseas markets with their unique design and product quality. And at the center is the K series,” Kia Motors vice president Lee Hyoung-keun said in an opening speech.
“The K3 will succeed the reputation and design identity of the K Series, delivering unprecedented value in the compact sedan market.”
Starting with the project name “YD” in 2009, Kia poured 300 billion won ($268 million) into developing the latest and smallest model of its flagship K series sedans, company officials said.
The K3, themed on “dynamic muscularity,” carries the signature radiator grille of the K series, bold and “high-tech luxury car” style LED headlamps and a sports coupe-like shape.
By reducing air resistance dramatically, the car also features a high fuel efficiency of 14 kilometers per liter.
The car is also equipped with Kia’s next generation “telematics” service UVO that allows drivers to control their cars with a smartphone or other IT device.
Other smart features include a parking assistance system, a welcoming service that reacts to the approach of the driver, cruise control and a sliding headrest.
Kia Motors plans to start marketing the new K series in major markets including China and the U.S. by 2013.
In the first year of sales, the company aims to sell 410,000 K3 cars globally, including 55,000 units in Korea. In 2014, the sales target is expected to increase to 500,000 vehicles.
Depending on specs, the car is priced at 14.92 million won, 16.77 million won, 17.88 million won, 18.41 million won or 19.39 million won.