On July 28th, the new Kia Sportage made its debut and announced that the Chinese name of the new car is "Lion Platinum extension". The new car will be put on sale in the third quarter. It is understood that Kia Sportage is a veteran of the domestic joint venture compact SUV, the second and third generation models have been introduced into domestic sales, the fourth generation Sportage is sold in China as Kia KX5, and the newly released Kia Sportage belongs to the fifth generation of models, which will compete with Toyota Rongfang, Honda CR-V, Nissan Qijun and other models.
As the fifth generation model, the new Kia Sportage adopts a new design style, the front face adopts the integrated design of the grille light group, the black forward air grille is integrated with the headlamp group, and the diamond headlights and the "back-force mark"-shaped LED daytime driving lights bring high recognition to the new car.
On the side of the body, the new Kia Sportage provides a large size window behind the rear window in pursuit of space maximization. At the rear of the vehicle, the new car adopts an irregular taillight design, and the LED luminous structure in the lamp cavity is anti-C-shaped, which is connected by a narrow trim plate, and the bilateral design of the rear bumper is coupled with a silver rear guard plate to improve the recognition of the whole vehicle.
In terms of interior decoration, the new car uses a double screen design with a full LCD dashboard connected with the central control multimedia display screen, the whole screen uses a curved design, the dashboard and central control screen UI design is relatively simple, and the functions are displayed with icons, including navigation, mobile phone interconnection, smart home and other functions. In addition, the air conditioning system has a separate display area and uses touch buttons, while the shift system adopts a knob design, and its rear part includes driving mode setting, ramp assistance, parking assistance, automatic parking and parking images.
On the power side, the new car offers a variety of power combinations, including 1.6T turbocharged gasoline engine, 2.0T diesel engine and hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions. As for domestic models, officials have not announced what kind of power domestic models will carry.
Data show that the first generation of Kia Sportage was born in 1993, which is longer than the history of Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. However, at that time, the concept of urban SUV had not yet sprung up, and most of the so-called SUV models in the market were designed with hardline off-road design orientation, otherwise Kia Sportage was more worthy of the title of "SUV ancestor" than Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. In addition, the first generation of Kia Sportage did not enter the country through official channels, and most people are still very unfamiliar with this car.
The second generation of Kia Sportage was released in 2004, and then Dongfeng Yueda Kia introduced domestic sales by way of import, even if the price was as high as 200000 yuan or more, it still achieved a good response in the domestic market. Until 2007, Dongfeng Yueda Kia officially introduced the second-generation Sportage into China, becoming its first SUV model, and named "Lion run", with a price of 15.98-238800 yuan. As a domestic model, the Lion Runner evolved from the first generation Sportage, especially the C-pillar and D-pillar parts can still find the shadow of the first generation Sportage, but the whole vehicle adopts load-bearing body.
In October 2010, Dongfeng Yueda Kia introduced the third-generation Sportage into domestic production and named it "Zhirun" with a price range of 16.48-249800 yuan. It is worth mentioning that Smart run did not replace Lion run, because Lion run sold quite well in China at that time, and the third-generation Sportage had a very high degree of support, so Lion run did not withdraw from the market because of its launch. The two models were sold in the market at the same time and achieved good results. From the perspective of positioning, Zhirun positioning is higher than Lion running, Lion running consolidates the sinking market, while Zhirun seizes the mainstream market and jointly expands the power of the brand in the SUV market. In April 2018, the new generation of Zhirun went public with a price range of 11.99-139900 yuan. In July 2021, Ace officially launched as a mid-term revamped model of the new generation, with a price range of 13.98-157800 yuan.
After tasting the benefits of the same-house sales, Dongfeng Yueda Kia introduced the fourth-generation Sportage into domestic sales and named it "KX5", which was sold in the same room with Zhiyun. In February 2016, Dongfeng Yueda Kia KX5 officially went on sale, with a price range of 15.68-231800 yuan and equipped with 1.6T and 2.0L engines. However, at that time, the brand appeal of Kia in China was not as strong as before, and the sales volume of Kia KX5 remained low after its listing. Even after several major changes, the market performance of Kia KX5 was still much lower than Kia expected. According to the data, the model with the highest sales in Dongfeng Yueda Kia in the first half of the year was the Freddy, with 12370, followed by Zhirun with 9947, while Kia KX5 sold only 677.
At present, Dongfeng Yueda Kia no longer exists. Dongfeng Yueda Kia Automobile Co., Ltd. changed its name to "Kia Automobile Co., Ltd." in March this year, and its models for sale were changed in July this year. The tail mark has been changed from "Dongfeng Yueda Kia" to "Yueda Kia".
Kia said that in 2022, it will increase investment in the Chinese market, strengthen brand building, improve organizational efficiency, improve product quality, and improve the level of dealer operation and management. According to the plan, this year is the first year for Kia to start electrification. In addition to introducing HEV hybrid models, the pure electric model EV6 will soon be introduced into China. By 2027, starting with the new pure electric vehicle EV6, Kia will launch new electric models in the Chinese market every year and gradually build a new EV matrix for six electric vehicles. In the next decade, Kia has set the goal of producing and selling more than 4 million vehicles in China. In addition, in order to further create high-quality products and accelerate the introduction of more competitive global models, Kia will gradually stop producing models below 100000 yuan.
As for the upcoming new generation of Sportage, Kia's main competitors include Hyundai Tusheng, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and other models. In contrast, Lion Platinum has more personality, and as a veteran, it has a certain reputation on product reliability, but the current development of Korean brands in China is not optimistic. It remains to be seen whether Kia Lion Platinum expansion can bring about a turnaround for Kia in China.
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