Go to contents

Hyundai, Kia Motors Seek to Overcome Crisis with New Models

Hyundai, Kia Motors Seek to Overcome Crisis with New Models

Posted March. 03, 2007 03:24,   

한국어

Hyundai-Kia Motors will release new models that will compete with foreign luxury cars soon. “BH,” the succeeding model to the company’s Equus, will be released next March with a new engine and state-of-the art safety equipments.

It was announced Friday that Hyundai Vice Chairman Kim Dong-jin and President Lee Hyun-soon of the R&D department announced development plans, citing that developing new cars that will rival with world’s best cars in quality is the only way to survive. The market is closely watching the company on whether it will be able to recover from the current sluggish atmosphere caused by the strong won and labor issues.

The next-generation cars from Hyundai emphasize safety and fulfilled the ever more rigorous environmental requirements of advanced countries at the same time. “We will release the premium sedan, the BH, with state-of-the art safety systems next March,” said President Lee. Hyundai has invested more than 1 trillion won in developing the BH, hoping that the new model will make Hyundai a premium brand.

“We will upgrade Hyundai cars by loading an inter-vehicle distance control system and parking support system,” he added. The Lambda engine of Equus and the Tau engine will be used. The Lambda and Tau engines, developed by Hyundai, are more advanced version of the company’s seta engine.

Hyundai will release environmentally friendly cars starting with the Santa Fe S this month. The Santa Fe S complies with the Euro 4 gas emission standard and is an environmentally friendly car that reduces the production of fine dust despite an increase in horsepower from 153 to 158. Also included is a smart key system that unlocks the door when the driver gets near the car.

Hyundai plans to release new models that will compete with Japanese cars. President Lee said that the company plans to release a new Avante 5-door FD in Q3 that has more advanced specifications than the Honda Civic. The FD shares the platform with Kia Cee’d that is quite popular in Europe.

Kia focuses on the SUV market in which Japanese companies are comparably weak. The company will release the off-road SUV “HM” this October. Hyundai plans to reduce the development and production time from 22 months to 20 months, and to 18 months like Toyota by next year. “We plans to invest more than 3 trillion won each year in R&D,” said Vice Chairman Kim Dong-jin.



bell@donga.com