As Kia’s most successful model, the Cerato has achieved more than 2.5 million global sales since its introduction in 2004, including 445,000 units in 2011 when the second-generation model accounted for almost 18% of Kia’s total worldwide sales.
For Australia, since its belated launch in 2010, the dominant member of the Cerato family has been the stylish five-door hatchback accounting for as much as 70 per cent of all Cerato sales in Australia.
With the release of the all-new Kia Cerato Hatch the cornerstone of the Cerato range for Australia is in place and with the arrival of the exciting new Koup due for later in the year Kia’s position in the burgeoning small car segment will be cemented.
Utilising the key design cues that have the small hatch such a popular model, head of design Peter Schreyer has given the new Cerato a brush with the magic styling wand that has made the Kia range one of the most desirable in the market.
Sporting a sleeker profile to support the futuristic and dynamic styling, the all-new Cerato hatch is longer, lower and wider than the current car, with an extended wheelbase.
It features an all-new re-engineered bodyshell structure and will also boast improved quality, upgraded equipment with a host of additional convenience and safety features, a more spacious cabin with enhanced quality, improved refinement and an upgraded powertrain line-up that delivers outstanding fuel economy.
“The new Cerato sedan has been warmly welcomed by Australia’s small car shoppers and with the arrival of the hatch we are genuinely excited for the immediate future,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow.
“That excitement will only be amplified with the arrival of the Koup _ the first Kia model in Australia to offer turbo boosted power.”
The original Kia Cerato focused on quality and price, and recorded global sales of 1.23 million units. The second-generation vehicle introduced in 2008, majored on design, quality and value. It has achieved more than 1.21 million sales around the world so far.
“We have raised our game yet again with the all-new Cerato sedan, and _ particularly with the addition of the hatch _ the new range has added emotional appeal to its established core values of design, quality and value,” Mr Barlow said.
“This all-new model will boost our competitiveness in the small passenger car segment, the largest and most competitive segment in our market. Second generation Cerato finished 2012 as one of the best, major manufacturer performers in its segment in terms of year to date sales, with close to 40% growth compared to 2011.”
While creating the all-new Cerato, Kia’s designers and engineers have listened closely to customer feedback. The resulting new car range is a bold demonstration of Kia’s determination to deliver models, which exceed customer expectations and provide a rewarding long-term ownership experience for Kia buyers.
“As I said at the launch of the sedan earlier this year, and which has subsequently been proven in the marketplace, we are confident that the all-new Cerato with its transformed appearance, broad range of new features, improved powertrains, refinement and fuel economy, will attract both existing and new customers to Kia showrooms in increasing numbers,” Mr Barlow concluded.
Kia Motors’ global Executive Vice-President and COO, Thomas Oh, said: “Now that the new Cerato hatch has joined the sedan, we anticipate sales growth to increase achieving annual global sales for this model approaching 500,000 units, to claim a 3.3% share of the global C1 Segment.
“It is very promising to see robust growth for the Kia brand continue in the Australian market. This is a positive sign for further momentum, especially with the launch of our 5-door Cerato there, which has been a hit with its sporty performance and European hatchback styling in other key markets amongst automotive enthusiasts and customers alike.”
The result of 42 months design, engineering and development work and an investment of more than 300 billion Korean Won ($256 million), the third-generation Cerato models will be manufactured at Kia’s Hwasung facility in Korea.
All-new Cerato is created to appeal to current Cerato owners and to the increasing numbers of customers down-sizing their cars who still desire a spacious and generously equipped vehicle.
Founded in 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry, Kia is currently Korea’s second largest car manufacturer and it’s oldest. From the company’s production of Korea’s first domestic bicycle, Kia moved on to producing Korea’s first motorcycle and the country’s first truck. Kia then became the first company in Korea to locally produce petrol car engines and the first domestic diesel engine. In 1979, Kia’s quality car production was recognised by the fact that two of the world’s leading European car makers chose the Korean car maker to build their ‘range topper’ models on their behalf – the Peugeot 604 and Fiat 132. But it was in the 1980s that Kia’s growth really took off. In 1986 Ford joined the list of car makers who looked to Kia to produce cars to be sold under their name, with the Festiva joining Ford’s line up first in the USA, then across the world, including in Australia for where Kia produced two generations of Ford’s entry-level car. Today, Kia produces a remarkably diverse range of vehicles sold in 190 countries around the world.