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Kia Will Unveil New Rio In March

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On: Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 11:12AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Kia Will Unveil New Rio In March

The Kia Rio has sold well since its introduction in 2003. Through two model cycles it has captured the dollars, if not the hearts, of many North American buyers. It's time for a revamp, and if the Korean-market Picanto is any indication, the new Rio should be a sweet little subcompact. Changes will take place before it makes it to our shores, but the basic styling will remain the same.

Kia’s goal with their Rio is to make it longer, lower, and wider than the current version. And it’s not just the exterior which is getting a make-over. The interior will be upgraded as well to provide the feel of a larger, more expensive car; so says Kia.

Soon-Nam Lee, Kia Motors director of overseas marketing, explained in a statement: “Downsizing is becoming more and more of a trend these days, and a B-segment car as attractive as the all-new Rio, with its driver-oriented cabin and interior trim options, will no doubt help consumers to be more comfortable making that switch.”

Stateside, Kia has posted strong sales, but their Rio model has stalled and sputtered a bit. The 2010 numbers were down by 29% from the previous year. Ironically, the entire brand was up by 19%. Go figure.

Kia’s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, refers to the new Rio as “sporty and elegant with a swept-back profile and a character line rising out of the front wheel which gives it a sense of movement and fluidity, even when stationary.”

Mr. Lee had more to say on the subject in his statement.: “Downsizing is becoming more and more of a trend these days and a B-segment car as attractive as all-new Rio, with its driver-oriented cabin and interior trim options, will no doubt help consumers to be more comfortable making that switch. New Rio is the ‘next big step’ in Kia's design revolution and we anticipate this model becoming even more popular than the current vehicle.”


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