Kia plans 37% sales jump in K9 sales next year image

Kia Motors, South Korea’s second-largest automobile manufacturer said it plans to increase global sales of its new K9 premium sedan by 37 percent in 2013 Reuters reports.

The company’s first rear-wheel drive large sedan in over a decade isn’t just to be a domestic offering – it’s set to be launched in a number of key overseas markets later this year.

Known as the “K9″ in Korea, the new flagship sedan will have a different name in overseas markets – to be revealed closer to its on sale date.

“K9 is our first rear-wheel drive large sedan for more than a decade and sets new standards for advanced design, new technologies and driving performance, representing the ‘best of the best’ of Kia,” comments Soon-Nam Lee, Kia’s Director of Overseas Marketing Group.

Kia’s K9, scheduled to go on pre-sale within the next two weeks, is a continuation of its K-series following two successful predecessors, K5 and K7. The new sedan’s pricing ranges between 53 million won and 87.5 million won, depending on the engine and interior specifics, which is cheaper than Hyundai’s premium sedans Equus and Genesis.

Kia reported that its net income rose 26 percent to 1.2 trillion won ($1.1 billion) in the three months ended March from 953.2 billion won a year earlier.

First-quarter vehicle sales in the U.S. rose a revised 32 percent, more than triple the pace of Kia’s annual target, with an increase of 25 percent in Europe and 15 percent in China as its models gained popularity in export markets.