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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Jan 13: Kia rising

Friday the 13th. Always a scary date, so maybe my blog today should reflect this date and in a way, it does. Way back in the early '40's a Korean company started up, but no one paid them any attention, or anything else from Korea back then. The company of course was Kia, I say of course, since you probably noticed the title of this blog. In the early days, they made motorbikes under licence from Honda, then progressed into cars, with models like this Brisa and others.......

........made under licence from Fiat and Mazda and Peugeot. Nothing of their own for many years, and then when Kia did start making their own cars, they had what one would expect, nothing special, as they obtained experience. Unfortunate models like this Amante........

.......looking like a very junior Lincoln Town Car. Cars like this bore the Kia name to mostly derisive remarks by the motoring press. And based on the Amante's sales, along with other models, the general public didn't care much for the brand either. But then Hyundai got involved, buying about one third of the company. So, if you were one of the ones who joked about the early Hyundai's (didn't we all?) and then saw what they would accomplish, you probably started paying attention. And with good reason.

Hyundai has become a powerhouse of great products and great designs. Gaining respect, they were able to hire the best designers for Kia, even those who formerly toiled for the top German luxury brands. Concepts like this Stinger started to appear.........

A hot coupe that might still end up being reality in the near future. Or how about this swoopy coupe like GT sedan.........

With teasers like this, along with good looking and performing cars and suv's already on the market, anyone who doubted Hyundai's resolve to push Kia into prominence, just wasn't thinking straight. Those German designers know a thing or three about cars and what should sell.

So what turns up at this week's Detroit show? A hot new ride using the concept coupe's name and the concept GT's body, may I present the Stinger..........

A big step from Kia, but with one key detail missing, the price. But, what is not missing is the Stinger's credentials, a hot turbo 4 and a twin turbo V6, along with all the suspension goodies to make this one thrilling road car. Who is the Stinger going after? Well, this is where we see Trump like bravado, as the Stinger's target market is supposed to be the great German cars like the BMW 3 series, the Audi A4 and Benz C Class. Big targets. Big ambitions.

Like its sister company, Hyundai, who is not taking a back seat to anyone, when it comes to luxury models, Kia is obviously making this giant jump into a market, that is alien for the brand. Full speed ahead, while they wait for the Kia name to catch up to those Germans. You gotta hand it to them. And, if you doubt that they can and will pull it off, well shame on you.

Now back to that missing component, price. Based on what Hyundai has done, it's pretty well assured that the Stinger will undercut the competition, while letting the car speak for itself. Give it time folks, like Hyundai and their Genesis luxury brand. Underestimate these brand at your peril. I'd say in ten years, give or take a year, buyers will look to Kia for sporting machines, that will continue to undercut the mainstream models.

Don't believe me? Well. it is Friday, the 13th and time for scary thoughts.

Until next time.......

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