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Kia debuts Barui SUV and KOUP concept at Beijing Auto Show
The Beijing International Automotive Exhibition 2008, which opened with a press preview two days ago, has drawn the largest number of car companies ever, organizers announced.
Participating in this year’s event are more than 2,100 carmakers and auto parts manufacturers from 18 countries, compared to last year’s 1,600 companies.
The record number of participants in the 10th annual installment of the show reflects China’s automotive market’s phenomenal growth, analysts said.
Out of Korea’s five automakers, only Hyundai, Kia and Ssangyong Motor Co. are taking part in the event.
In a move to tap into the market with the most potential, Hyundai and Kia introduced two Chinese local editions of its latest models.
Kia has chosen Beijing show to reveal it’s best ever recreational vehicle to Chinese consumers.
The Mohave/Borrego has been renamed for Chinese market and the company will be marketing it’s latest SUV under the BARUI name. Barui, Kia’s flagship sports utility vehicle, will go on sale in China in July.
Forte Koup Coupe
The company’s other exhibits include the concept car KOUP that was unveiled for the first time at the New York International Auto Show and a hydrogen fuel cell version of the SUV Sportage.
NOTE: This is the second generation Kia Forte!
Korea’s largest automaker, Hyundai Motor, is leading its 16-car exhibition with it’s luxury sports sedan Genesis launched locally in January. Planned for launch in China in late June, the Genesis will be sold as the Rohens in China.
As with its strategy for the United States, the company hopes to use the Genesis to pry open China’s fast growing luxury car market.
According to the company, last year China’s market for large sedans such as the Audi A6 and Chrysler’s 300C grew by 34 percent from the previous year to come in at about 200,000 units.
Company officials at the show said that the Rohens will strengthen its lineup and, along with the sports utility vehicle Veracruz and the sedan Azera, it will help build an image of Hyundai Motor as a manufacturer of high-end luxury cars in China.
Hyundai Motor is also showcasing the sports car Genesis Coupe that will be released in Korea later in the year and a Tucson SUV fitted with a hydrogen fuel cell.
In addition to showing off their latest cars at the show, Hyundai Kia Automotive Group yesterday announced that it has established a new division to oversee all of its operations in China. Until now Hyundai Motor’s Beijing Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors’ Dongfeng Yueda Kia Motors Co. have been managed separately by each company’s overseas management divisions.
Kia revealed that the move has been made in order to strengthen its presence in China and increase synergy between the different operations. [Source: Koreaherald]