Posted: 17 Jan 2011 09:50 AM PST
Luxury car maker Mercedes has released a video presentation of the new generation Mercedes SLK. This new car will be sold in three variations: SLK 200, SLK 250 and SLK 350.
One of the highlights of the new 2012 Mercedes SLK is the MAGIC SKY CONTROL panorama vario-roof which allows the transparency to be changed from light to dark with a touch of a button.
Watch the video below of the new Mercedes SLK roadster and tell us what you think of it in the comments box below.
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Posted: 17 Jan 2011 09:23 AM PST
Kia Motors is South Korea’s second largest automobile manufacturer and managed to sell over 1.6 million cars in 2009. The word Kia derives from Korean words meaning "to arise to the world from Asia."
The company is partly owned by the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group and since August 21, 2009, Hyoung-Keun Lee has been head of the company’s global operations from the headquarters in Seoul. North American and European branches are operated by Kia Motors America and Kia Motors Europe.
South Korea’s oldest car company – Kia was founded on June 9th, 1944 as a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts. In 1952, Kia changed its name from Kyungsung Precision Industry and later went on to build motorcycles (starting in 1957), trucks (1962) and cars (1974). The company opened its first integrated automotive assembly plant in 1973, the Sohari Plant.
In 1986, kia partnered up with Ford to create several Mazda derived vehicles for both domestic sales in South Korea and other countries. These models include the Pride (based on the Mazda 121) and Avella, which were sold in North America and Australasia as the Ford Festiva and Ford Aspire.
In 1992, Kia Motors America was incorporated in the United States. The first Kia-branded vehicles in the United States were sold from four dealerships in Portland and Oregon in February 1994. Since then, Kia has expanded methodically one region at a time. Dealers in 1994 sold the Sephia, and a few years later the United States line expanded with the addition of the Sportage.
In 1997 Kia hit bankruptcy due partially to the Asian financial crisis, this resulted in 51% of the company being acquired in 1998 by South Korean rival Hyundai Motor Company, who outbid Ford Motor Company. Over the years, Hyundai has divested some of its ownership of Kia Motors and currently Hyundai Motor Company owns less than 40% of the company.
Design emphasis and Tiger Nose
Beginning in 2005 Kia identified design as its “core future growth engine” — leading to the 2006 hiring of Peter Schreyer as Chief Design Officer. Schreyer had previously worked at Audi (designing the Audi TT) and Volkswagen and had won the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Schreyer has since been central to a complete restyling of Kia’s lineup, overseeing design activities at Kia’s design centers in Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Tokyo and the Namyang Design Center in Korea.
Schreyer indicated in a 2007 interview that Kia had a “neutral image” prior to his arrival." "In the past, the Kia cars were very neutral. When you saw one on the road, you didn't really know if it was Korean or Japanese… I think it's very important that you are able to recognize a Kia at first sight."
With the Kee concept vehicle, shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2007, Kia introduced a new corporate grille to create a recognizable ‘face’ for the brand. Known as the Tiger Nose, Shreyer indicated he wanted "a powerful visual signal, a seal, an identifier. The front of a car needs this recognition, this expression. A car needs a face and I think the new Kia face is strong and distinctive. Visibility is vital and that face should immediately allow you to identify a Kia even from a distance."
Affiliations and subsidiaries
Kia Motors Corporation
Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) was founded in 1944, is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles and is now a division of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group. Over 1.5 million vehicles a year are produced in 13 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 172 countries.
Kia today has over 42,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of over US$14.6 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA – the governing body of the FIFA World Cup. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan is “The Power to Surprise”.
Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the American sales, marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 640 dealers throughout the United States. For 2008, KMA recorded its 14th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. In August 2009, Kia was the 8th-best selling automotive brand in the United States, outselling makes like Chrysler and Mazda.
In November 2009, Kia started production at the first U.S. Kia Motors plant, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point. The facility is building the 2011 Kia Sorento crossover vehicle.
Kia Motors Europe
Kia Motors Europe (KME) is the European sales and marketing division of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC). In 2007 KME moved from its previous location at Hauptstrasse 185, Eschborn, Frankfurt to a new purpose built facility adjacent to the Messe in Frankfurt city centre.
From 1995 to 1999 Kia produced left and right hand drive versions of the Sportage SUV at the Karmann factory in Germany. From 1999 until production of the model ceased in 2003, all Sportage production reverted to South Korea.
Kia began importing cars to Europe in early 1991, initially selling just the Pride mini-car. It initially proved popular with buyers but sales fell towards the end of the decade and the end of production was finally announced in May 2000, with its successor—the Rio—not going on sale for another year.
The European range expanded in 1994 when Kia began importing the larger Mentor, a range of medium sized hatchbacks and sedan which were marketed as cheap and well-equipped alternatives to the likes of the Ford Escort and Vauxhall/Opel Astra. A facelift in 1999 saw the Mentor name retained for the saloon, but the hatchback was renamed Shuma. These models remained on sale until 2004, when the newer Cerato was launched and gave Kia one of its first serious competitors for mainstream brands.
The Sportage SUV range has been popular across Europe, but since 2002 Kia has gained more sales in this market thanks to the launch of the larger Sorento.
Kia did not enter Europe’s large family car market until the launch of its Credos four-door sedan in 1999. This car was similar in size to the Ford Mondeo, but on its launch was actually cheaper to buy than the smaller Focus. It had a spacious interior, large boot, competitive asking price and high equipment levels, but it had little more appeal to sway buyers away from established European brands like Ford Motor Company, Vauxhall/Opel, Renault and Peugeot. Its successor, the Magentis, launched in 2001, was still nowhere near as popular as Kia might have hoped it would be.
Kia entered the MPV market in 1999 with the Sedona. On its launch, it was the cheapest full-size people carrier on sale in the United Kingdom.
2004 saw the commencement of European imports for the Kia Picanto city car. It has proved very popular with budget buyers in most of Europe.
As of 2007, Kia has been importing cars to Europe for 16 years. On its arrival, just one model was being sold. The range has gradually expanded over that time so the marque has a competitor in just about every sector except for the luxury and sports market. Sales of its products have so far failed to match those of established European brands, but current sales records have been impressive for a marque which only arrived in Europe at the start of the previous decade.
Kia Motors has specialized in the production of military vehicles with variants and other transportation equipment and by supplying them as a sole maker of military vehicles designated by the South Korean Government since 1976, when Kia Heavy Industry Co., Ltd was established. Kia is currently designing a Kaiser Jeep M715-type vehicle named the KM450 for the South Korean Army on license from the U.S. Government.
KIA Defense produces six vehicles:
K2700/Strong/3000S/2500TCI- KMC only
Hybrid electric vehicles
Kia Soul Hybrid
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Posted: 17 Jan 2011 07:43 AM PST
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the legendary Monte Carlo Rally and to celebrate Skoda have created a special edition version of the Skoda Fabio.
The Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo will be available as a hatchback and is based on the SE trim level. This special edition Fabia will be available with numerous engine sizes including the 1.2-liter engine with 69 PS, the 1.2 TSI with 86 PS, the 1.2 TSI with 105 PS, the 1.6 TDI CR with 75 PS and the 1.6 TDI CR with 105 PS.
Some of the special features of the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo include a piano-black body trim, a black roof, black door mirror covers, and a black radiator grille top.
The Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo also comes with smoked headlamps and black 17" lightweight Trinity alloy wheels.
This new special edition will be available at Skoda dealers from the 24th of January 2011.
For more information read the Skoda press release below.
Skoda Press Release:
SKODA LAUNCHES FABIA MONTE CARLO
Fabia Monte Carlo launched to celebrate 100 years of the legendary Monte Carlo Rally and 110 years of Skoda's participation in motorsport.
A new Fabia model with aggressive, sporty styling and enhanced equipment
Skoda's Fabia line is about to be extended with the introduction of the Monte Carlo, a new model with enhanced sports styling and bespoke interior. Launched to celebrate 100 years of the Monte Carlo Rally, and commemorate the 110 year anniversary of the brand’s motorsport efforts, this special edition model is a nod towards Skoda's sporting pedigree.
From the outside, the Fabia Monte Carlo boasts a dynamic look, underlined by the introduction of piano-black body trim, which extend over the wheel arches and down the full length of the car, a black roof, black door mirror covers, a black radiator grille top, smoked headlamps and black 17" lightweight Trinity alloy wheels.
Inside the Fabia Monte Carlo, customers can choose between all black or, red and black sports seats which boast additional side support. Both versions come with black roof lining, a perforated leather steering wheel with red stitching, leather handbrake and gearstick gaiter with red stitching (with the red-black interior option). To complete the enhanced sporty appeal silver kick plates and steel pedals are fitted as standard.
The new Fabia Monte Carlo is set to make its first public appearance at Rallye Monte Carlo (19-22 January), where Skoda's current all-conquering IRC championship winning rally car, the Fabia S2000, finished fourth (in class) on its first outing at this legendary rally in 2009.
Available as hatchback only, the car's trim is based on the current Fabia SE version, and the new Monte Carlo will be available with a wide range of engines.
CO2 Basic VAT RRP FRF RFL Delivery Recommended OTR
All of the Fabia Monte Carlo models will be fitted with a 5-speed manual transmission and will be available to order from 24 January 2011.
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