South Korea’s Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia Motors have announced they intend to increase the average fuel economy across their model fleet by 25% before the next decade starts to properly meet tougher emissions regulations in their home market, the United States and Europe.
The announcement comes fresh off the news that both carmakers agreed to pay penalties worth $350 million to US authorities because they erroneously lifted the window-sticker fuel economy ratings. They also struggle to fight back the increased popularity of imported brands in South Korea, which have started rising after trade agreements opened the market and buyers were attracted by their fuel-efficient diesel offerings.
The South Korean companies announced in a statement that “group chairman Chung Mong-koo ordered to secure world-leading competitiveness in fuel economy by 2020,” which means the duo now needs to develop and produce next-generation engines and transmissions, lower the weight of several models and increase their environmentally friendly vehicles lineup.
Hyundai and Kia, which usually share most of the key components in the cars, said around 70% of their 10 gasoline and diesel engines would be replaced with newer-generation powerplants and the use of turbo-charging for gasoline engines would be expanded. There would be new advanced transmissions developed to compliment the engines and high-strength steel from affiliate Hyundai Steel would be used to make future models lighter.