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Future models - Kia - Pro_cee'd - GT

Hyundai-style sports range on Kia back-burner

Pro_cee’d with caution: Introducing the GT moniker on Kia’s European-sourced hot hatch does not necessarily pave the way for similarly sporting versions of other models.

Kia waiting for higher volumes before introducing Hyundai SR-style sports sub-brand

Kia logo29 Mar 2013

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

KIA Motors Australia (KMAu) is unlikely to use the European Pro_cee’d GT hot hatch to kick off a range of with further sub-branded sports variants as sister company Hyundai is about to.

The company will wait until sales volumes across the board reach a level that can make such niche variants sustainable.

KMAu public relations general manager Kevin Hepworth told GoAuto that despite breaching a record 30,000 sales last year following two years of growth exceeding 20 per cent, volumes are “still at a level where we can’t do everything”.

Hyundai introduced the SR sports sub-brand with the Veloster SR Turbo and has since moved closer to introducing racy SR-badged versions of the i30 small hatch and Accent light sedan inspired by concepts shown at last year’s Sydney motor show.

As Kia has used the GT moniker for the hot turbocharged Pro_cee’d, the designation would make sense for other sporty models – such as turbo’d versions of the Sportage SUV, Optima mid-size sedan and Cerato Koup, all of which are under consideration for Australia.

But Mr Hepworth insisted Kia will tread carefully.

“Pro_cee’d GT is going to be our performance edge to start with,” he said.

“We’ll keep taking small steps Hyundai are doing 90,000 a year so they have a bit more room to play with.” Mr Hepworth explained that if SR variants (to use Hyundai’s example) account for five per cent of each model’s volume, it still represents a number of cars that starts to offer the company return on investment.

However with Kia sales at around a third of Hyundai’s, the numbers it stands to sell of these potentially niche variants starts to look too small to bother.

“It is not something we can amortise it is something we consider but not now,” said Mr Hepworth.

The Pro_cee’d GT is powered by a 150kW/265Nm turbo-petrol engine and will arrive in Australia early next year.

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