It seems that Hyundai and Kia are currently trying to hold on to their U.S. sales momentum and enter new segments, moving the brands upscale but also bringing out vehicles with more eye-catching design.
Hyundai and Kia already increased their market share in 2010 and were the two of only three brands to achieve a sales gain in the United States. Now, the big plan is to introduce new and redesigned products in order to reach different customers.
Both manufacturers are squeezing into new niches. As you may know already, Hyundai plans its $60,000-plus Equus sedan and the small, sporty Veloster coupe, while Kia may replace the Rondo compact minivan with a new five-door model based on the same platform as the Hyundai i30 sold in Europe.
Also, the brands are currently moving upscale with cars such as the Equus, Hyundai’s redesigned Azera and Kia’s Cadenza successor for the Amanti.
And do not think that these manufacturers are not interested in alternative-fuel vehicles, as Kia is planning a hybrid version of the Optima and is kicking around the idea of a dedicated hybrid, while Hyundai is planning a hybrid Sonata and will unveil a new fuel cell vehicle in 2012.