Future Models - Kia 2017 Picanto
Geneva show: Kia has designs on new Picanto
Small wonder: The evolutionary design of the Picanto was a direct result of the outgoing version’s sales success globally, according to Kia Motors Europe’s design chief.
New-generation Kia Picanto set to continue top sales form when it lobs in April
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9 March 2017
KIA Motors Australia (KMAu) is confident its new-generation Picanto micro car
will continue the strong sales form of the outgoing model when it arrives with
both a manual and automatic transmission option – the manual being a new
addition – in April.
The latest version of the city hatch will initially be offered with a
1.25-litre four-cylinder engine carried over from the outgoing model, but a new
1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder powertrain is also being considered.
Since the Picanto launched last year, well into the second-generation model’s
lifecycle, Kia sold 1934 examples in nine months to be the second-best seller
in the segment behind the Mitsubishi Mirage.
So far this year, it is leading the segment, with 572 units shifted, outpacing
the Mirage (523) and Holden Spark (213).
KMAu chief operating officer Damien Meredith said the company was pleased with
the initial response to the Picanto in its first year on sale.
“We are happy with Picanto, but like always we are looking forward to the new
model,” he told Australian journalists ahead of the Geneva motor show reveal of
the new-generation hatch. “It was a bit of a gamble launching the Picanto in
the fifth year of its model cycle but it has paid off for us.”
The outgoing model is sold in one specification level only for $14,990
driveaway, but the addition of new technology including a new central
touchscreen with satellite navigation, a more upmarket interior and additional
infotainment and safety technology could push pricing up slightly for the new
Mr Meredith said pricing would be confirmed in the few weeks, adding that he
hoped it could stay at a similar price point.
“We haven’t finalised the price at this point in time. We would like to be
around about the same mark, because I think that is the value proposition of
where we are, but it is yet to be decided,” he said.
KMAu general manager of media and corporate communications Kevin Hepworth
added: “The price discussion is going to be slightly different this time as it
will include the manual. So there is going to be a price-leader car in there
where there hasn’t been a manual previously.”
While the Picanto has adopted a familiar design in its third generation, it now
gets LED headlights and all-new panels as well as a redesigned interior.
Speaking with Australian journalists on the Kia stand at Geneva, Kia Motors
Europe chief designer Gregory Guillaume said the success of the outgoing model
helped determine the evolutionary design of the new Picanto.
“It’s always ‘case by case’ when you do a redesign of an existing model, you
are always analysing how successful was the car before and if it was, what does
it mean to the customer, what do they want to keep to recognise whether it is
the successor or do you start from scratch,” he said.
“With Picanto, it is a very successful car in Europe, it has a pretty strong
fan base, so you don’t want to just throw everything out and start from
scratch. Plus, we are quite limited with Picanto with the format of the car,
because it has got to fit into a tax bracket in Korea that is very specific.
The car hasn’t changed in dimension at all compared to the previous car.”
Mr Guillaume said he believed Picanto punched above its weight design-wise,
adding that it was important for buyers to feel proud of the car they are
“I think it looks quite a bit more mature than the one before. With Picanto it
is quite funny, I always think, it is a very small car that doesn’t know it is.
Somebody forgot to tell Picanto, you are actually a tiny car. It thinks it is
bigger than it is. I think that is good,” he said.
“Even if it is a very small car that might not cost much, you should always
feel that you are giving your customers as much as you can and you should be
really proud to drive that.
“There is always a danger when you design a very small car that it ends up
looking a bit like a toy, or unserious and you want to be very careful with