Last week’s photo showed the taillight from a Kia Forte sedan, which has been totally made over for 2014.It proved to be a stumper, with only a handful of faithful readers picking out the correct car. For a better photograph and a review of the new car, read this week’s road test.
Chosen randomly from the correct entries was that of James Covar, of Warrenville.
Other readers identifying the vehicle were:
CANTON, GA.: David Anderson wrote: “Hyundai, Kia’s parent company, has already revamped the Hyundai lineup and is now working its way through the Kia lineup. The investment in this huge corporatewide effort is paying dividends for Hyundai/Kia with glowing reviews and increased sales.
“The Forte is now getting its turn in the style shop to be infused with a larger dose of the Hyundai/Kia DNA. Going first is the Forte sedan, to be followed quickly by the five-door variant. I would imagine that a new Koup is in the works as well. Hyundai is burning the proverbial midnight oil to raise the image of both brands.
“With the exception of the premium Genesis, Azera and Equus sedans, Hyundai appears to be positioning the Kia brand as a step up from Hyundai. In a side-by-side model comparison, the Kia generally comes standard with features that are optional on the Hyundai. Naturally, the price of the Kia will reflect the addition of these extras features.
“There are a couple of interesting trends going on with Hyundai.
First, the Hyundai Entourage minivan has been dropped from the lineup and the Kia Sedona equivalent is looking quite long in the tooth. I cannot find any lead information on a replacement for that vehicle. My bet would be that at least in the United States, Hyundai is abandoning the minivan segment with both brands to concentrate on its crossover platforms.
“Second, rather than directly pitting sales of Hyundai against those of Kia, they appear to be providing a means for a customer to step up in quality, performance, luxury, etc, while staying within the same brand. I have never seen a combined Hyundai/Kia dealership, as is commonplace with the American manufacturers, so if a customer is looking for something more than the Sonata, they would be directed to the Azera or Genesis. If they want something even more than that – there’s the ultra luxury Equus. Coming later this year for the Kia brand is the Cadenza, a premium sedan offering over the Optima.
“Brand progression is nothing new. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler have been doing that for decades. Hyundai is trying a tactic that provides that progression without sacrificing sales of one brand over another. It will be interesting to see how this works out for them.”
EVANS: Jerry Paul
MARTINEZ: Jim Muraski
PERRY, FLA.: Larry Anderson
SHAWANO, WIS.: Karen McKenna