SEOUL, Feb. 23 (Yonhap) – Kia Motors Corp., South Korea’s second-ranked carmaker, plans to launch the Niro subcompact hybrid SUV in Europe in May, appealing to customers in overseas markets with its eco-friendly features, an industry source said Tuesday.
The Niro is Kia Motors’s first hybrid dedicated model based on its own production platform. It earlier said that the Niro hybrid will be launched in March for domestic customers but detailed timetables for its overseas introduction have yet to be available.
“The Niro will be launched in Europe in May, followed by its introduction to customers in China and the United States in September and November, respectively,” the source close to the matter told the English department of Yonhap News Agency.
The Niro comes with a 105-horsepower, 1.6-liter gasoline engine and a 43.5-horsepower electric motor. It boasts a fuel economy of 50 miles per gallon, which translates into about 21.5 kilometers per liter, according to the company.
Following its domestic and overseas launch, Kia Motors plans to bring the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle version to the Korean market in March next year first before starting to sell it in Europe and China in June 2017, the source added.
The EV model is to be showcased at a motor show to be held from March 3-13 in Geneva, Switzerland, ahead of its official launch in the European market.
Kia Motors aims to sell about 65,000 units of the Niro at home and abroad annually.
Meanwhile, for its vehicle launch plans in 2017, the source said that Kia Motors will unveil fully-renovated versions of the Pride subcompact along with those of the K-series, including the K9 flagship large-size sedan.’