KIA to launch new Soul compact in 2013 – executive image

Kia Motors, South Korea’s second-largest carmaker plans to launch a new version of its Soul compact vehicle next year, Reuters reports citing an KIA executive.

Soul is Kia’s second-best selling model in the United States in the first half of this year. Based on cumulative sales for the first half of this year, the Soul controlled 82 percent of the U.S. small box car market share with sales of 63,635 units.

Last month, J.D. Power & Associates gave the Kia Soul its highest ranking this year for initial quality in the compact multi-purpose vehicle segment.

In addition, the executive said the automaker plans to unveil the new Forte compact in South Korea in September – and is targeting global sales of more than 450,000 next year.

The redesigned Forte, which is one of the brand’s best-selling nameplates (445,000 units sold in 2011), is targeting such competitors as the Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.

Scheduled to go on sale in early 2013, the new Forte will also get hatchback and two-door coupe – or as Kia says Koup – variants. The hatchback will look very similar to the sedan in terms of design, but the Koup will be a whole lot different, and quite a bit more interesting.