BUSINESS

Hyundai, Kia to promote subcompact SUVs in Frankfurt

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 10, 2017 - 17:05
  • Updated : Sept 10, 2017 - 17:05
Hyundai Motor Co. and its sister company Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's two biggest carmakers, said Sunday they will promote its subcompact crossovers in the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show amid growing demand for SUVs in the global market.

In the motor show, to be held in the German city from Sept. 14-24, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors said they plan to lure European customers with the Kona and the Stonic subcompact SUVs, respectively.

Hyundai unveiled the Kona to foreign media as well in a June event held in South Korea. Kia's Stonic, domestically launched in July, will make its international debut in the show, a company spokesman said. 


The Kia Proceed hatchback concept to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show (Yonhap)

The two subcompact SUV models are designed to gain a share in the booming small vehicle markets, particularly in Europe, and offset its sales losses in China and the United States.

In the January-July period, the two carmakers posted a 46 percent on-year decline in sales in China to 500,964 vehicles from 919,380 units a year earlier. In the US, their combined sales fell 10 percent to 752,562 from 837,359 during the same period. The poorer showing reflects Hyundai and Kia's weak SUV lineup that trailed rivals.

On top of the Kona, Hyundai will also display its high-performance i30 hatchback, with Kia planning to reveal the Proceed Concept (or KED-12), which it says will join the Cee'd family of small cars sold in Europe.
 
Hyundai`s Kona (L) and Kia`s Stonic subcompact SUVs. (Yonhap)

"With many European drivers now seeking performance alternatives to the three-door hot hatch, we began thinking about a different halo model for the Cee'd family," said Gregory Guillaume, Kia's chief designer for Europe, in a recent statement. 

Meanwhile, electric and electrified vehicles by BMW and Mercedes-Benz are expected to take center stage in Frankfurt in the wake of the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal.

German carmakers are doubling down on electric and electrified models as the demand for diesel cars is on the decline due to stricter regulations. 

The BMW group plans to introduce BMW X7 iPerformance SUV that features an electric powertrain, with its archrival Mercedes-Benz coming up with the electrified Project One hypercar concept, developed with expertise borrowed from cars made for the Formula One. (Yonhap)