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Kia to join the EV market

Kia is set to become the next major car company to join the electric vehicle market with the launch of hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of a small SUV called Niro.

Kia Motors New Zealand has announced that the model will go on sale during the opening quarter of next year, however no prices have been released for the new vehicle

After a ten-month evaluation of the Niro, where the model was reviewed by selected consumers and motoring journalists, a business case was created in order for the vehicle to be sold here in New Zealand.

The Korean built Niro was intended only for the European market, but after a ten-month evaluation of the Niro, where the model was reviewed by selected consumers and motoring journalists, a business case was created in order for the vehicle to be sold here in New Zealand.

Kia claims the Niro is the first dedicated hybrid SUV produced anywhere in the world, built to run on both the power of a petrol engine and an electric motor.

The fuel economy of the hybrid is 3.8L/100km, which was put to the test when driven across the USA where the Niro achieved 3.69L/100km, a world record low for fuel consumption.

The plug-in version is even better, thanks to its larger battery pack and electric motor. Factory figures for the Niro PHEV suggest 1.3L/100km.

The Niro hybrid is powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine in combination with an electric drive unit.

The new plug-in version of the Niro, which has been released just recently to the international market, has a larger battery pack and can travel up to 40km on batter power alone, with no assistance of its petrol engine.

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Kia’s brand ranking climbs

Kia Motors has been ranked among the highest valued brands in the world once again, according to Interbrand’s 2017 ‘Best Global Brands’ report. The study, released today, confirms Kia’s brand value has grown 6 per cent in the last 12 months, to US$6.68 billion.
 
“Kia’s continued efforts to evolve and redefine itself are critical to the sustained growth in its brand value,” says Mike Rocha, global director of brand valuation at Interbrand. “The launch of the Stinger – Kia’s new and exciting fastback sports sedan, and the opening of ‘Beat 360’ – a new sensory brand experience centre in Seoul, fill me with high expectations of a bright future for the company.” 
 
For the second year running, Kia is named the world’s 69th most valuable brand in the report, its latest valuation representing a 645 per cent increase in the value of the Kia brand since 2007. Now the 11th most valuable automotive brand, Kia is ranked ahead of dozens of ‘household name’ consumer brands, as well as a host of volume, premium and luxury car manufacturers.
 
“This welcome rise in Kia’s brand value is a clear reflection of Kia’s continuous dedication to our customers,” Charles Suh, senior vice president of the corporate marketing division at Kia Motors says. “This result provides us with further motivation to continue our mission to become the most desirable automotive brand in the eyes of consumers.” 
 
Kia recently launched its first sports sedan, the Stinger and its new hybrid crossover Niro, which are designed to boost the desirability and dynamism of the brand. 
 
 
 
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