Hyundai-Kia Motors is to release a flock of new models in the global market in the second half of this year in a bid to recover its poor performance. By taking the bull by the horns with the release of new models, the group plans to simultaneously improve sales and profitability, overcoming unfavorable factors including the recent Japanese automakers’ good performance from the weak yen, concerns over the low growth of the Chinese market, and unstable emerging markets.
According to industry sources on July 22, Hyundai-Kia Motors is releasing a total of 11 models, the highest number since its foundation, in markets at home and abroad later this year. This shows a stark contrast to only Hyundai Motor launching the new Tucson in the first half of this year.
The group’s new line-up in the second half of this year will include its major models, not only sedans, which show the highest sales in the group such as subcompact and compact vehicles, but also SUVs, which has shown relatively poor sales until now. Also, it includes both commercial and eco-friendly vehicles, which is uncommon compared with the average year.
First, Hyundai-Kia Motors is planning to recover a foothold in the domestic compact market, which has been eating by foreign auto brands, with the simultaneous launch of the new 2016 Sonata and K5 in July.
In order to do so, the group increased the number of engine models of the Sonata and the K5 to seven and five, respectively, offering more options to consumers. The new diesel model delivers fuel efficiency of 16.8 kilometers per liter (39.5 miles per gallon). The figure is better than the BMW 520d with its 16.1 kilometers per liter, or Volkswagen Passat with 14.6 kilometers per liter. Accordingly, it is expected to be going head-to-head with Germany’s diesel sedans, which has strength in fuel efficiency.
The new Avante, which is Korea’s first single vehicle model and the world’s No. 3 model with sales surpassing 10 million units last year, will also be released in the domestic market within the third quarter this year.
Hyundai-Kia Motors is also launching new models in the small SUV market, which has been a weakness of the group. The Creta, its overseas strategic small SUV, will be available in the markets of India in July, and the Middle East and Africa after Aug. The group will expand the sales of that model in the rapidly-growing global small SUV market. In its major markets, including Korea, Europe and the U.S., the new Tucson and the new Sportage will be in the vanguard.
Hyundai-Kia Motors will also unveil new models in the environmentally-friendly vehicle sector. Hyundai Motor expects to see the sales growth of the latest Sonata Plug-In Hybrid from next year when the government confirms subsidies. Accordingly, it plans to launch the group’s first subcompact hybrid model at the end of the year, expanding the domestic eco-friendly car market. Kia Motors will also release a hybrid model based on the new K5 in the fourth quarter this year.
Kia Motors has recently launched the improved Cee'd subcompact, which is the main model in Europe, expanding its sales. Hyundai Motor plans to unveil its full-size sedan Equus, targeting the domestic full-size market, which has been claimed by foreign cars.