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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: July 14, 2010 @ 6:45 pm

    The Korean firms come on strong

    Michael McAleer

    Wednesday July 14 Budapest

    We are at the launch of the new Kia Sportage in Budapest and figures from the brand show that Kia and Hyundai combined are now the 4th biggest selling brand in the world. They have sold more than 5,000,000 cars this year globally and now sell more cars than Ford annually.

    Kia’s new Sportage has been designed by Peter Schreyer, whose CV includes the Audi TT and all of a sudden the Korean brands need to be taken very seriously indeed. From a design point of view you can see the Audi influence in the new cars, in particular this new Sportage which almost looks like a mini Audi SUV.

    Peter Schreyer

    The new Sportage is the third generation of the SUV, with the first a rather basic budget model in 1996, replaced in 2004 by the hugely successful second-generation model which had a peak in sales in 2005, when it sold 36,000 units and made up 9 percent of Kia’s sales in Europe.

    Kia's new Sportage

    The new genertion model is coming to Ireland in October Kia’s new Sportage is coming to ireland in October. The new car, which we are test driving here in Budapest and you can read about in Wednesday’s Motors will be available with two diesel power units, a 115hp 1.7-litre and a 136hp 2.0-litre.

    The 1.7-litre is 2wd only, while the 2.0-litre comes with both 2wd and 4wd. The 1.7-litre falls in Band B with road tax of €156, while the 2.0-litre in both 2wd and 4wd falls into Band C. Kia Ireland will launch with the 2.0-litre diesel in October with the 1.7-litre diesel following in time for the January 2011 market. Local specs and pricing will be announced closer to launch date.

    • You know, I have to tell you, I really enjoy this blog and the insight from everyone who participates. I find it to be refreshing and very informative. I wish there were more blogs like it. Anyway, I felt it was about time I posted, I

    • Bren says:

      It’s all very nice for the Korean brands. Korea places a 70 to 90% tax on non-Korean made cars in Korea so you see very few foreign cars on Korean roads yet Europe and the US places a normal tax on Korean cars. Complaints to the WTO and Euro/USA governments mysteriously fall on deaf ears with regard to this very serious subject.

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