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Archive for the ‘Kia’ Category

Automakers Cutting New Car Smell, Adding to the Bottom Line

Chinese buyers hate the smell and the causes of it are unhealthy.

by Michael Strong on Nov.19, 2018

Car interiors often put off odors related to the volatile organic compounds used to assemble them. The VOCs are unhealthy and Ford has found a way to deal with them.

Making a new car greener entails many things, including but not exclusively, improved fuel economy, lower greenhouse gas emissions and easier recyclability.

Automakers around the globe have been searching for ways to make the interior cabin better for occupants. By changing the materials they use for steering wheels, seats and other components, they’re lowering the volatile organic compounds that fill the cabin.

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Additionally, there are other chemicals and compounds used in the assembly of vehicles that add to the harmful nature, and ultimately the smell of new vehicles. Eliminating these VOCs makes for a vehicle that’s less harmful to occupants — and adds to automaker’s bottom line too. (more…)

2020 Kia Soul Teased Ahead of LA Auto Show Debut

New platform, new longer-range EV, more tech - but a familiar design.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.14, 2018

Kia's quirky crossover will likely grow slightly larger when the gen-3 model hits the road.

The annual L.A. Auto Show is approaching fast and that means manufacturers are starting to drop hints about all the new models they’ll be debuting in the City of Angels later this month.

The latest to weigh in with a teaser image is Kia, which will pull the wraps off the 2020 Soul at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Wednesday, Nov. 28.

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Official details about the 2020 Kia Soul are sparse, the Korean carmaker noting only that “the Soul is all new for 2020 and will come to market with a bold, immediately recognizable design.”

(more…)

Hyundai, Kia to Add Solar Panels on Future Electric Models

Technology expected to extend range, reduce emissions.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.01, 2018

Hyundai says all of its hybrids, starting next year, will have solar panel roofs to help corral more power.

Future vehicles built by the Hyundai Motor Group using electrified drivetrains will start coming with solar roof or hood panels capable of helping charge their batteries, the company says.

The parent of both the Hyundai and Kia brands expects the technology will help boost the range of those vehicles while also reducing emissions by cutting a motorist’s need to charge up using the traditional electrical grid.

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“In the future, various types of electricity-generating technologies, including the solar charging system, will be connected to vehicles,” said Jeong-Gil Park, executive vice president of engineering design at Hyundai Motor Group. “This will enable them to develop from a passive device that consumes energy to a solution that actively generates energy. The paradigm of the vehicle owner will shift from that of a consumer to an energy prosumer.” (more…)

Automakers Deliver Some Neat Tricks and Plenty of Treats for SEMA Show

Here's our round-up of the coolest, hottest and wackiest concepts to roll into the Las Vegas Convention Center.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.31, 2018

The Honda Rugged Open Air concept.

Trick or Treat? Make that trick and treat, as the annual SEMA Show gets underway in Las Vegas.

Perfectly timed for Halloween, the annual aftermarket event regularly sees the debut of some intriguing concept vehicles from U.S., Asian and European automakers, and this year is no exception.

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In fact, there’s a Demon-chaser from Mopar which reveals a 1,000-horsepower crate motor that takes last year’s version of the Hellcat line to new levels. (more…)

Hyundai Management Shake-Up Coincides with Product Strategy Shift

"Our strategy is to launch more SUVs."

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.29, 2018

A lack of product diversity, which is being remedied, has hurt Hyundai sales. Hyundai's Kyung Soo Lee is heading back to South Korea for it.

Hyundai has an unexpected vacancy at the top. Kyung Soo Lee, the CEO of the carmaker’s U.S. operations is on his way back to South Korea and, for the moment, it is not clear when a replacement will be named, according to a company spokesman.

The shake-up, which Hyundai described as “part of a regular, group-wide personnel change,” comes at a critical time for the Korean carmaker. After years of rapid growth in the American market, Hyundai’s momentum began to slow, mid-decade, a problem largely blamed on a lack of a competitive truck line-up. With the arrival of the little Kona, Hyundai is hoping to kick-start sales, with even more products in the pipeline, according to senior officials.

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Hyundai reportedly has a fully electric SUV in development and, as TheDetroitBureau.com recently reported, it is moving closer to launching a production version of the wildly popular Santa Cruz pickup, though it appears that move could be pushed back by a year from the early target of 2020. (more…)

Consumer Reports: Domestic Vehicle Reliability Slipping

Domestic brands struggled in this year's survey.

by Joseph Szczesny on Oct.25, 2018

Toyota and its luxury sibling topped this year's Consumer Reports reliability survey of 29 brands.

Toyota and Lexus came out on top in Consumer Reports annual reliability survey thanks in large part to a cautious approach to adapting to new technology.

However, the Toyota Tundra, the automaker’s entry into the full-size truck segment, slipped off Consumer Reports list of recommended vehicles, Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports director of automotive testing, disclosed during a meeting of Detroit’s Automotive Press Association.

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Fisher said overall it was a difficult year for domestic brands as Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Chrysler were among the brands that dropped in the Consumer Report’s new car reliability survey. Honda, which performed well in earlier years, also has slipped, he said.  (more…)

Toyota Rated as Best Automotive Brand

Sixteen auto brands make Top 100 — GM and FCA brands not on the list.

by Michael Strong on Oct.11, 2018

Toyota was the top automotive brand in this year's Best Global Brands Top 100 list, taking seventh overall.

A quick poll of people asking what automaker is the best might net several folks saying “Tesla!” and while it does have a massive market cap, they’d be wrong. The best brand? Toyota.

According to Interbrand’s 2018 Best Global Brands report, Apple was the top company on the list with a valuation of $214 billion. Toyota was seventh on the list at $53 billion, which was up 6% over last year’s result.

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Overall, 15 automotive brands made the Top 100 list and while there aren’t really any surprises about what ones are on the list, those that are not on the list may be reason to take pause. None of the General Motors brands made this year’s list. The aforementioned Tesla did not make the list either. Nor did any of Fiat Chrysler’s brands. (more…)

VW Back in the Global Sales Lead, But Toyota Returns to #2

Final months of 2018 could bring an epic battle.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.08, 2018

Volkswagen appears to be the top selling automaker in the world with less than three months left in the year.

With 2018 quickly drawing to a close, Volkswagen appears to have cemented the global sales crown to its corporate head, rapidly gaining ground from its two closest competitors.

But rivals Toyota and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance are facing a classic, neck-and-neck battle that could see them fighting it out until the last sale is counted, according to data compiled by research firm Focus2Move, for second place.

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One long-time contender, meanwhile, has dropped out of the race entirely. General Motors, which led the global auto industry for more than seven decades, is well out of the running after selling off its European Opel subsidiary and shuttering operations in several other markets, including Russia and India. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Kia Forte

Ready to compete with small-car standbys: Civic, Corolla, Cruze

by Joseph Szczesny on Sep.18, 2018

Despite the segment shrinking, Kia is plowing ahead with small cars with an all-new 2019 Forte sedan.

Given, the popularity of sport-utility vehicles, crossovers and pickup trucks, selling the traditional small car in the U.S. has become a very tough gig as evidenced by Ford giving up on cars and the Volkswagen Beetle is going away.

Meanwhile, cars such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Chevrolet Cruze have gotten better and offer an increasing number of features that shoppers in this segment could only dream about as recently as five years ago

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But that hasn’t discouraged Kia, which is launching an updated version of the compact third-generation Kia Forte this fall. Kia has built its reputation by building smart, stylish small vehicles and now has great ratings from J.D. Power’s critical initial quality survey to assure first-time buyers. (more…)

Infotainment Technology Getting Better, JD Power study says

Systems improve for third consecutive year.

by Michael Strong on Sep.14, 2018

The Ford Mustang earned the highest score in J.D. Power's 2018 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study.

If you own a car built in the last decade, you’ve been there. You attempt to make a call using the hands-free system – regardless of the manufacturer – and you get a list of people the nice lady in the dashboard would like you to choose from and none of the options are the one you want.

It’s this kind of technology that is both enticing and enraging all at the same time and is most often the target of complaints by new vehicle owners. However, the folks at J.D. Power claim the user experience is getting better.

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According to the J.D. Power 2018 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study, the number of reported problems with in-car audio, communication, entertainment and navigation technologies has decreased for a third consecutive year, with several technology standouts emerging among manufacturers. (more…)