SEOUL, April 15 (Korea Bizwire) – Kia Motors Corp., South Korea’s No. 2 carmaker, said Friday that it plans to showcase its Niro hybrid SUV at a motor show to be held in China later this month in a bid to test customer response ahead of its official launch there.
The Niro crossover SUV will be displayed at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, which kicks off on April 25, according to the company. The Niro is to be launched in China in October.
Kia Motors’ first hybrid SUV whose production is based on its own platform hit the showrooms in South Korea on March 29. More than 2,500 Niros have been sold since their domestic launch, company data showed.
The company expects that the Niro could appeal to Chinese customers as well, with its relatively high fuel efficiency and roomy space and many cutting-edge safety features.
Equipped with a 1.6 GDI engine, along with a 32 kW motor system and six-speed dual clutch transmission, the Niro can produce up to 141 horsepower and a maximum torque of 27 kg-meters, Kia Motors said. Its fuel efficiency is 19.5 kmpl.
With its battery placed under the rear seats, the Niro has relatively large luggage space. Its 2,700 mm-long wheelbase also expands leg room for the driver and passengers, it explained.
The Niro’s debut in China comes as Kia Motors has been struggling with falling sales in China in the face of intensifying competition from homegrown carmakers armed with much lower prices.
According to the latest industry data, Kia Motors saw its sales in China shrink 15.7 percent on-year in March to 48,050 units. During the first quarter, its car sales fell 10.4 percent.’