China-Made Kia Forte Debuts at Shanghai Show

Korea's Kia Motors is extending its Chinese portfolio with the introduction of the locally-built Forte sedan (known in many markets as the new Cerato) as well as the Korea-produced new Sorento Crossover that made its world premiere earlier this month at the 2009 Seoul Motor Show. The vital for Kia's future success in China, Forte sedan, will be produced at its joint venture Donfeng Yueda Kia (DYK) plant in the Jiangsu province and it will be sold alongside the current generation model, called the Cerato.

The Korean automaker said that it also plans to introduce to the market the Forte Koup, which was unveiled last week at the New York Motor Show and is scheduled to go on sale globally in late 2009.

For the Chinese market, the four-door Forte sedan will be offered with a choice of a 2.0-litre gasoline and a locally produced 1.6-litre gasoline engine, with manual or automatic transmissions, in a selection of 10 exterior and two interior colors.

As for the new Sorento SUV / Crossover, Chinese buyers will be able to choose from two engines, a Theta II 2.4-liter gasoline with 4WD and 6-speed automatic transmission and a R 2.2-liter diesel also with 4WD and 6-speed automatic transmission.

Even though it is expected that the new Chinese car market will slow down to single digits in 2009, Kia said that its sale target for the year is over 195,000 units, or 30 percent more than 2008 when it achieved sales of 151,000 vehicles.