“We developed a unique architecture, a unique and brand-new 60-kW/hr battery, drive unit, the vehicle’s functionality, aluminum doors and liftgate, electronic shifter, touchscreen display system, all launched with great quality in the United States in just three-and-a-half years,” Stuart Norris says.
Kia has been seeking an India production location for much of the past two years so it can tap into the expanding market there. Sales grew 9.3% to about 2.1 million units in calendar 2016, up 9.3% from prior-year, WardsAuto data shows. Light-truck sales grew 8.5% to 1.3 million units.
Shipping the 13,000 vehicles back to Germany, rather than having them checked for compliance in Korea, ended speculation the automakers would hold a national “Dieselgate sale” offering huge discounts on models that received recertification.
Peter Schreyer emphasizes the industry must ensure autonomous vehicles are compatible with the human condition. More research is needed to determine how to provide the proper environment, aesthetics and physical and emotional comfort.
Kia’s upper-brand strategy appears similar to the approach its Hyundai affiliate took in launching its separate Genesis line. But it’s not clear whether Kia will go global with this plan or keep it within South Korea.
Nearly 1,800 units of the QM6 already have been shipped to Europe, where they will be sold as the Renault Koleos in 12 nations. The automaker is targeting 30,000 European sales of the QM6 this year, with another 10,000 units being shipped to South America and other export markets.
South Korea’s National Assembly is pressuring Hyundai and other family-controlled company groups to reorganize into regulated, transparent business organizations with greater shareholder control and responsibility.
Tesla has not been able to persuade the government to reconsider the uniqueness of its larger, longer-range EVs and the charging requirements for their high-capacity batteries. Subsidies instead are going to smaller EVs using slower chargers.
Analysts believe Audi VW Korea’s legal response to the false-advertising fine is only the tip of the iceberg. Co-CEO Marcus Hellman and his company’s lawyers also must defend several current and former executives against criminal indictments.