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Kia to Get Truck, Sorento from Ga. Plant

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Korean automaker Kia is working on its new assembly plant at the Georgia-Alabama state line, but until now speculation has said that the factory would be building mid-size cars and possibly a crossover vehicle for the U.S. market. Now, Automotive News is reporting that the factory will be building two vehicles--a crossover that will take on Honda's Pilot, and a pickup truck destined to go head to head with Honda's Ridgeline.

The decision to build the truck hasn't been officially confirmed, Automotive News reported today in its online edition. But the plans have been in the works for a long time, and Kia's new management under new American CEO Ahn Byung-Mo pushed the idea at a dealer meeting in February. The news weekly says the project is now a go.

The new vehicle would be based on a new edition of the Kia Sorento sport-utility vehicle. Today's Sorento is a body-on-frame design with rear- or four-wheel drive. The 2010 model, a complete redesign, likely will shift to front- and all-wheel drive to make it a more direct competitor for the likes of the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Highlander. It will enter production in November 2009 in West Point, Ga., the News says.

The new Sorento will spawn a pickup that likely will share the Sorento's chassis but may get a flexible pickup bed like the one shown on Kia's concept Mojave pickup from the 2004 Chicago auto show. The pickup will get a V-6 engine.

Kia's on a product offensive as of late, with this week's New York auto show hosting the production 2009 Kia Soul. But what do you think of this latest move? Does the Sorento need to be a crossover instead of a true SUV? Is a pickup truck what Kia needs to compete -- and more the point, does the world need two Honda Ridgelines? Discuss in a comment below.
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Comments (13)
  1. I don't understand the marketing wizards at HyunKia.. supposedly Kia was to be the sporty brand and Hyundai the more upscale one, but every subsequent product decision seems to blur the distinction even further. Why does Kia need another unibody crossover when Hyundai already has 3?? A body-on-frame SUV is more in keeping with Kia's supposed sporty/active image, and makes more sense if they plan to build a true pickup from the same platform.

  2. Uhhh maybe because consumers don't want body on frame SUVS...and hey pontiac is supposed to be GM's sporty brand and they're coming out with a car based pickup...maybe its the new definition of sport haha

  3. Well, Stop the Presses!



  4. This says it all: "does the world need two Honda Ridgelines?"
    IMHO NO!

  5. I think this is a great idea. My wife and I love the Ridgeline but it is to expensive for us. I hope Kia does make the truck because they are more budget minded.

  6. The Ridgeline is an IDEAL candidate for the 6 cyl DIESEL that Honda will install even in the Accord next year. Trucks and SUVs should get the diesels FIRST. That will make it far more affordable too, MPG-wise.

  7. Kia was a truck company. First Kia brand car for US was Sportage. Kia always had trucks before cars. Car was something they had developed, Ford Fiesta/Kia Pride.

    The deal is, Honda doesn't have diesel engine that can be used with Ridgeline. I think Honda only has 2.2L as of today. In other hand Hyundai/Kia has 3L V6 VGT engine. Hyundai/Kia has announced that it will bring diesel engines to US by 2010. It will be installed in their VeraCruz, Borrengo, and maybe few other vehicles.

  8. To autonutt: The reason that Kia should come out with a unibody crossover even though Hyundai already has one is because THEY ARE DIFFERENT FRANCHISES! Stand alone Kia dealerships or Hyundai dealerships dont just sit there and say "if you dont like what we have, go check out the competition." Also the truck is a great idea because the need for a mid size to small truck with current technology is great. A lot of truck buyers dont need a full size but need the versatility of a truck bed rather than a SUV.

  9. RUSSEL IS as clueless and uninformed as usual. and here is PROOF. We knew it since last DECEMBER, BTW!

    Honda is developing a diesel V-6 for SUVs and vans

    Posted Dec 4th 2006 1:09PM
    Filed under: Diesel, Honda

    Recently Honda announced plans to create new ultra clean diesel engines for their vehicles to meet all the latest emission standards. Their design would differ from the Mercedes BlueTec technology because the new catalytic converter would produce ammonia on board to use for treating the nitrogen oxide.

    This would be a zero maintenance design that requires no periodic replenishment of the urea supply. Initial indications were that a 2.2L four cylinder diesel would be built for use in various passenger car models starting in 2009.

    In an interview with Automotive News CEO Takeo Fukui revealed that Honda will also be building a V-6 diesel for their bigger vehicles like the Ridgeline pickup, the Odyssey van and the Pilot and MDX SUVs.

    The new V-6 diesels will also meet all the new diesel emission standards for cutting particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions.

    [Source: Automotive News - subscription required]

    Better luck next time, Russel! And in the meantime, Enjoy your Kia (or is it a Hyundai? Little diff...LOL)

  10. Kia's new V8 gives 28 MPG on highways! its really increadible. It also has VCM to shut off unwanted pistons. that will save more fuel. Kia should launch this pick-up soon. Its a good time too (for KIA) as ridgeline's sales are falling because of its price and fuel prices. this kia pick up will be priced much lower as Kia will not have to include shipping costs to the price. If only it was based on Borrego instead of Soreto...

  11. Another FWD truck? Give me a break. What we need (as a Kia dealer) is a cheap little truck (i.e. old mazda) that the automakers have totally abandoned. Rangers and Colorados don't sell? DUH!! They are too heavy and cost almost as much as a full size truck. Give us a cheap, rwd truck with a baby diesel option and I will sell the you-know-what out of it. We don't need another Ridgeline. God, please, someone talk some sense to these Korean morons.

  12. I think bryan hit the nail on the head! We just want a nice, small, economical, CHEAP, pickup truck with a good size bed. Remember Toyotas, Datsuns, etc. The ones you bought for $8000. and drove them for 5-10 years and got another one.

    I drive a Nissan Titan that I really like but I don't need a truck that big. Unfortunately the smaller trucks are almost the same price. (So I bought the big one)

    I looked at Ridgelines but I'm not going to pay $38000. for a small pickup with an undersized bed.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Hyundia and/or KIA make us a pickup truck!

  13. Along with the other comments listed here Kia trucks are a product that would be bought by the middle class,
    a truck that is affordable,Ford, Chevy -I would like to buy American but they have become to expensive to even contemplate buying exspecially for what its going to be used for, you dont buy a truck to sit in youre garage so you can wax it everyday. There are more people out there looking for a vehicle that can do it all and be affordable.

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