Hyundai Watching Kia Closely – Car Pro News

If you think the biggest automakers are afraid of fast-rising Hyundai, guess which car company has Hyundai’s attention? Its own smaller sibling, Kia.
Both are owned by giant Hyundai of South Korea. Bloomberg News says Kia is on a roll and the two affiliates have been pitted against each other internally.
Both Hyundai and Kia had record sales last year. One of the reasons is the Kia Optima. Kia is even developing its own near-luxury model to challenge Hyundai in South Korea with the well-regarded Genesis.
Reports Bloomberg:
Frank Ahrens, a spokesman at Hyundai, says the intensity of the sibling competition is “car-to-car” across segments. His Kia counterpart, Michael Choo, who refers to Hyundai as an affiliate instead of the parent company of his employer, says the two compete “head-to-head” in most of the world’s auto markets and vehicle categories.
Both spokesmen declined to say whether the competition is by design, saying any such strategic decisions are made by Chairman Chung, who was unavailable for an interview.
Kia was flat on its back a decade ago. Hyundai acquired it out of bankruptcy, taking a 51% stake. Kia now benefits from Hyundai’s engineering.
“Both brands seem to be going upscale rather than just one,” Christian Yang, an analyst at IHS Automotive, an industry researcher, tells Bloomberg. “The K9 will again represent problems if Hyundai’s and Kia’s plans of alignment do not go as planned.”


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