Kia is to bring a range of eco-friendly vehicles to the Europe as part of a £2 billion Hyundai-Kia group investment in developing green technology.
The group wants to become one of the world’s top four manufacturers of low emission vehicles by 2012, a date which coincides with the introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles in Korea.
Kia has just launched its first hybrid, a Forte, in its native market. The Forte shares a platform with the Kia Cee’d and it is likely the first hybrid Kia seen in Europe will be based on the Cee’d. The all-new Kia Rio due within the next 18 months could also feature hybrid technology.
Sun Yung Kim, president of Kia Motors Europe said: “The Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group is determined to bring affordable and usable green technology to the European consumer and our introduction of Cee’d ISG [Forte hybrid in Korea] and other environmentally friendly technologies clearly shows that we have a firm grip on our plans for a green future.
“We expect the demand for environmentally friendly and low emission vehicles will pick up strongly as the global market emerges from the current recession and we are determined to be ready to meet that demand from our customers.
“We already have one of the most environmentally friendly production plants at Zilina in the Slovak Republic and in Korea we have the world’s only dedicated environmental research and development facility at Mabuk.
“Along with investment in technology the company has also announced a big increase in the number of green R&D engineers and specific investment in developing fuel cell technology for cost-effective production.”