Kia launches K3 sedan in Korea

Kia has announced that it has completed the rollout of its K-series line of vehicles inside Korea. The last product in the K line was the refreshed K3 sedan. The new K3 has been in the works for six years reports the Wall Street Journal and is the latest vehicle and Kia's attempt to shed its bargain car image.

The car was styled by Kia's styling team led by former Audi designer Peter Schreyer. Schreyer and his design team also designed the Kia K7, K5, and K9, which are all radical departures from previous generation designs. The K3 sells in the United States as the Forte and is available in other markets as the Cerato.

In the first half of the year, sales of this particular model were down 25%. Kia hopes that its K3 sedan will sell 410,000 units globally in 2013. Korean pricing for the K3 with 1.6-liter engine and a six-speed automatic transmission will equate to about $13,350 in the US.

This year, Kia hopes to sell 2.71 million vehicles around the world, which would be a 9.5% increase compared to last year. Last week Kia union workers approved a new contract ending strikes at the automakers plants. To end the strikes, Kia agreed to end night shifts and shorten work hours. There have been 33 different strikes since July 13 by Kia workers.

[via Wall Street Journal]