Kia is set to launch its first-ever production rear-wheel sedan -- codenamed "KH" -- by the first half of this year in Korea. The vehicle shares a platform with the Equus, which is the top-of-the-line rwd sedan of Hyundai. A press release issued Sunday night disclosed that the sedan will be available for sale all over the world.
However, a spokesperson in Korea refused to disclose whether the KH will be introduced in the United States. According to the spokesperson in an interview with Autoweek, Kia Motors America is still studying plans for KH in the U.S. market. The rwd vehicle is also being evaluated, a U.S.-based press official has revealed. However, no details were provided regarding the matter.
In the United States, Kia has been going through a period of remarkable growth. U.S. sales increased 36 percent in 2011 to 485,492 units. A rear-wheel-drive halo vehicle could be positioned over the Optima to have a premium automobile with athletic philosophy. The Equus was a reasonable performer for Hyundai in its first full year in the American market last year, selling 3,193 units. That enhanced the less expensive but luxury-oriented Genesis, which climbed by 13 percent in 2011 to sales of 32,998 units.
Obviously, the American consumers will purchase rear-wheel, well-equipped vehicles from a Korean company. While the spokespersons would not confirm if the KH will arrive in the U.S., the sedan has been envisioned to be a Kia flagship model. Kia's overseas marketing director Soon Nam-Lee commented that although the launch timings for offshore markets are "yet to be confirmed," the all-new, rear-wheel-drive sedan will "definitely" be the "leading model" of their automobile range worldwide, featuring "the best of the best of Kia."