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Kia Motors rolls out Stonic SUV in Korea

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Published : 2017-07-13 16:13
Updated : 2017-07-13 22:45

Adding the final touch to its full sport utility vehicle lineup, Kia Motors on Thursday rolled out its new compact SUV Stonic, which Korea’s second-largest automaker hopes will revive lagging sales.

Kia’s SUV lineup now ranges from the full-size Mohave and mid-size Sorento, to the Sportage, hybrid Niro and compact Stonic.

With the Stonic, Kia Motors aims to target consumers in their 20s and 30s, who prioritize price, fuel economy and design, the company said.

Starting Thursday, Kia Motors’ subcompact SUV Stonic went on sale in the domestic market, with the aim of boosting the company’s sales by meeting the growing demand for crossover vehicles worldwide.

Preorders of the model reached 1,500 units since June 27, when the company first introduced the model.

Kia Motors aims to sell 6,000 units of the Stonic in Korea this year and 18,000 units in 2018. It will launch the gasoline-powered Stonic here before the end of this year, it added.

Kia Motors President Park Han-woo (left) and Executive Vice President Kim Chang-sik (right) pose at the launch ceremony of the Stonic in Seoul, Thursday. (Shim Woo-hyun/The Korea Herald)

According to Kia Motors, the B-segment SUV market in Korea has grown rapidly since 2013, with 110,000 units sold last year, a 28 percent on-year increase.

The Stonic comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a 1.6-liter diesel engine with 110 horsepower. Its fuel economy is said to reach an average of 17 kilometers per liter. The vehicle is priced between 19 million won ($16,700) and 23 million won, depending on the options chosen.

Kia Motors also plans to export the Stonic to overseas markets such as Europe and the US, where demand for small SUVs is rising fast.

Kia Motors plans to sell both the gasoline- and diesel-powered Stonic in Europe within the second half of this year, according to the company’s Marketing Director Seo Bo-won. The timeline for US-bound shipments, however, has not been decided.

The size of the global B-segment SUV market continues to grow, posting annual sales of 1.1 million units, which make up 7 percent of all vehicles sold around the world, according to Kia Motors Europe. Annual sales of B-segment SUVs are forecast to reach 20 million units by 2020.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)