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Geneva show: Kia plants a new Cee’d

Not for Oz: The new Kia Cee'd small car will continue to be sold in Europe only.

Kia reveals new Cee’d small car for European markets but Australia is ruled out

Kia logo13 Jan 2012

By MIKE COSTELLO

KIA has revealed the second-generation Cee’d small hatchback ahead of its public debut at the Geneva show in March – but it remains off the agenda for Australia.

The Korean brand provided no technical information, just a single frontal image of the car.

The image shows rounded styling with muscular bonnet lines and a prominent take on Kia’s trademark pinched grille, penned by design chief (and former Audi designer) Peter Schreyer.

No interior images have yet surfaced, but the Korean brand promises an ergonomic and driver-oriented fascia with high-quality materials.

The original Slovakian-built Cee’d small car was released five years ago exclusively for the European market and the new model is expected to follow suit when it goes on sale from the second quarter of this year.

Other global markets – including Australia – will continue to be catered for by the Cerato small sedan and hatch range, a new generation of which will go on sale here by the end of the first quarter of 2013.

The new Cerato is expected to make its public debut before the end of this year, featuring a continuation of the brand’s latest styling direction, as seen on the new Rio light car.

17 center imageLeft: Kia Picanto.

Kia Australia public relations manager Kevin Hepworth told GoAuto that the high cost of sourcing a car from Europe meant it made more sense to stick with the Cerato as its small segment contender.

Mr Hepworth also revealed that efforts to secure the new Picanto city-car to slot beneath the new Rio in its model range continued to be stalled by “market concerns” from Kia’s international headquarters.

As we have reported, Kia Australia has been building a business case for the tiny Picanto since its global release almost a year ago to give it a rival to the popular Nissan Micra and Suzuki Alto, both of which retail from a sub-$13K price point.

“They’re not convinced yet that that market is big enough,” said Mr Hepworth.

“We have to convince them that we think it’s going to grow, so every time there’s a business plan discussion, that car comes up and will continue to do so until such time as we wear them down, I think.”

While Mr Hepworth expressed confidence that the car would eventually arrive Down Under, he would not put a timeframe on it, though a 2013 debut would appear the most likely scenario.

In the meantime, two new Rio variants are expected to arrive here in February – a three-door hatchback and a four-door sedan.

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