Kia Keys Growth Around New Cadenza

Automaker revamping line-up for 2021.

by on Aug.19, 2016

The new Kia Cadenza gets a makeover for 2017 with a significant upgrade in safety technologies.

Kia is preparing to maintain its momentum after a long, successful run that has carried it to the top ranking in J.D. Power’s closely watched Initial Quality Survey.

Michael Sprague, Kia Motor America’s chief operating officer, said this week that the South Korean company has new products coming to market fall, notably the 2017 Kia Cadenza, a full-size sedan, which continues the brand’s push into territory once dominated by luxury brands from around the globe.

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The first iteration of the Cadenza, which appeared in 2013, has earned a loyal following and while the sales numbers are modest, 28,000 units, so far, Kia believes it can build on the reputation the car has developed among owners, said Sprague.

“The biggest challenge we face is telling people about the challenge to the vehicle,” he said.

The new Cadenza, which comes in three different trim levels ranging in price from $33,000 to $44,000, sits on a new platform with an updated V6 engine and some of the latest technology available on vehicles today, including advanced driver assistance system with forward collision alert and emergency braking that can bring the vehicle to a complete stop at speeds of 35 mph or less.

(High-tech safety features APEAL to new-car buyers. For more, Click Here.)

The Cadenza is the latest model in an onslaught of new vehicles coming from the automaker.

The Cadenza is expected to compete with cars such as the Toyota Avalon, Buick Lacrosse, Chevrolet Impala and Nissan Maxima.

Meanwhile, Kia continues to spend heavily on future with some 20 new models set to appear in showrooms by 2021. Kia is spending $12 billion to bring green vehicles, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids between now and 2021, Sprague said.

The objective is to maintain the momentum that has earned it major awards, including four top picks in the J.D. Power APEAL study, the exact same number as Chevrolet. Kia also was the first non-luxury brand to come out on tip in the influential IQS study in 27 years.

(Click Here for more about MIT scholars’ claims that the current EVs meet most drivers’ needs.)

For Kia, it has been a long journey. In 2001, Kia stood dead last among 35 different brands in IQS behind brands such as Saturn, Isuzu, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Suzuki, which have all disappeared.

“A lot of people thought we were going to vanish,” Sprague said.

But Kia remained and the company has become a formidable power in the automotive world. The Sportage has done very well with consumers and the Kia Soul, a mainstay of the company’s line-up since the 2009, continues to increase its sales year after year.

(Trucks capture the hearts, wallets of working and wealthy men alike. Click Here for the story.)

So far this year, Kia’s sales have increased by 5.2%. And its aggressive marketing campaign has used sports, music and popular culture to raise the brand’s profile with buyers of all kinds.

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