Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors target to hike the average fuel economy of their vehicles by 25 percent by the end of the decade comply with stricter emissions regulations in South Korea, the United States and Europe. In a statement, the South Korean carmakers disclosed future development of next-generation engines and transmissions, as well as plans to cut weight of key models and expand their lineup of green vehicles to achieve the target.
Hyundai said in a statement that group chairman Chung Mong-koo has ordered to secure “world-leading competitiveness in fuel economy” by the end of the decade. The carmaker disclosed they will replace 70 percent of their 10 gasoline and diesel engines with next-generation powerplants and will also expand the use of turbo-charged gasoline engines.
The carmakers will also develop more advanced transmissions. They also plan to expand use of advanced, high-strength steel to make their offerings much lighter. Hyundai and Kia are planning to roll out a compact, hybrid-dedicated vehicle as well as a plug-in hybrid version of the Sonata sedan in 2015.
The disclosure came after Hyundai and Kia agreed pay penalties of around $350 million to the United States government for overstating fuel economy ratings. The South Korean carmakers are also having a hard time fending off foreign brands that are becoming more popular because of the fuel-efficient, diesel-powered offerings.