Kia gets a new CEO in UK: Launches Sportage KX-4 SUV at £27,195 (Photos)

Kia Motors, Korea’s second largest auto manufacturers after Hyundai, have upgraded their Kia Sportage KX-4 for UK markets. The company has added an extensive list of updates and included a new highly efficient 181 hp 2.0 liter CRDi turbodiesel engine in place of the 134 hp seen in the earlier model. This new engine will be mated to a six speed manual, six speed automatic transmission or standard all wheel drive.

With the new engine under its bonnet, Kia Sportage KX-4 will be capable of 383 Nm torque at 1800 t0 2500 rpm in manual format while this figure will be at 329 Nm in auto mode. Post engine updates, the vehicle will be able to sprint from 0 to 60 mph (0-100 kmph) in 9.4 seconds while with a six speed manual gearbox top speed will reach 120 mph (192 kmph) while CO2 emissions will be at 150 g/km and 46.3 mpg (16.2 kmpl).

Parallel parking assist system with sensors, keyless entry, stop/stat button and stainless steel door plates will be added features. Other standard features seen on the previous model of Kia KX4 will be retained. These will include leather upholstered interiors with heated front and rear seats, 18”alloy wheels, tinted windows, cruise control, iPod connectivity, 7 speaker audio system, 7” touchscreen with navigator system, and dual zone climate control. In UK markets, Manual model of KX-4 will cost £27,195 while automatic will be priced at £28,500.

Apart from this, Kia UK has a new CEO and President in the form of Mr Paul Philpott. Read the press release for detailed information.

Auto News Release

Paul Philpott – President and CEO of KIA Motors, UK

Philpott, 45, was Managing Director at Kia Motors (UK) Limited from 2007 until he moved to Frankfurt in 2009 and returns to the Weybridge base to head up the UK and Ireland operations.

The move comes as part of Kia’s plan to strengthen its global representation and management in individual markets to further develop the brand’s global activities.

During his time at Kia Motors Europe Philpott has led the company through a period of significant expansion and the launch of the innovative and still industry-leading seven year warranty as well as a product blitz covering most of the new car market’s main sectors that has seen Kia establish itself as Europe’s fastest growing car brand.

Announcing the move, Brandon Yea, President of Kia Motors Europe. said: “The Kia brand is now Europe’s fastest growing thanks to Paul Philpott and he knows very well that we are determined to strengthen local management at all our subsidiary companies in order to become a truly global automotive organisation.

“Paul brings specific local expertise to a role that we have previously filled from headquarters in Korea and this is the right time – in our best performing market in Europe – to change our strategic focus,” he concluded.

Philpott said: “I am truly excited by the task I have been asked to undertake and am very happy to be moving back and to have the chance to work again with an excellent team and some of the best dealers in Europe. With Michael Cole and everyone at Weybridge I look forward to taking Kia right into the top rank of quality volume manufacturers in the UK and helping to ensure our dealers and customers will have an ever-improving experience with Kia.

“Kia’s new product pace just doesn’t let up and in just over a year we have introduced all-new versions of the Picanto, Rio and our European-designed and engineered cee’d plus the larger Optima saloon – and we have even more to come during the next 12 months so this is a very important time to build on the growth we have delivered and strengthen our position in the increasingly competitive mainstream market,” he added.

Michael Cole, Kia Motors (UK) Limited Managing Director commented: “Having worked with Paul in the past at Toyota and having succeeded him in this role in the UK I am delighted that he has come back to help us continue the major task of taking Kia to our longer-term vision of 100,000 sales per year in the UK. Paul’s understanding of the relationship between manufacturer and dealer network is unrivalled and his efforts to construct a strong, aspirational and attractive business proposition for our partners can only contribute positively to the remarkable growth we have enjoyed in the UK.

“I know that all of our staff and every one of our dealers in the UK and Ireland are delighted to see him back here and I am certain that his knowledge and skills will take us to new heights in the UK new car market,” he added.

Married with two children, Philpott graduated in Finance at Loughborough University, and spent 12 months in the financial sector before joining Ford Motor Company in 1988. After nine years in Ford’s UK Sales and Marketing Division, he moved to Toyota as General Manager, Marketing.

Philpott was appointed Marketing Director in 1999 and in 2003 became Commercial Director with responsibility for all of Toyota’s commercial operations in the UK – sales, marketing, aftersales and logistics before moving to Kia.

KIA launches new top of the rangeSportage KX-4 SUV

The Sportage ‘KX-4′ uses an 181bhp version of Kia’s 2.0-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine mated to a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions and an intelligent All-Wheel Drive system.

The Sportage ‘KX-4′ wants for nothing in terms of equipment and builds on the specification of the ‘KX-3 Sat Nav’ by adding a Parallel Parking Assist System – complete with all-round parking sensors – a keyless smart entry system and engine stop/start button and stainless steel door scuff plates.
Sportage KX-4

Standard equipment also includes a full leather upholstery, 18-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, seven-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system with EU mapping, Xenon lights, automatic lights and wipers, panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, heated front and rear seats, cruise control, iPod connectivity, colour reversing camera and a seven-speaker stereo complete with external amplifier and subwoofer.

Unique to the Sportage ‘KX-4′, the new higher output 2.0-litre CRDi ‘R’ powerplant develops 181bhp at 4,000rpm and 383Nm (282lb/ft) of torque from just 1,800rpm to 2,500rpm in manual guise. The automatic develops 392Nm. A revised variable geometry turbocharger, higher pressure piezo injectors and software mapping are responsible for the 47bhp increase over the 134bhp version that the new version sits alongside.

The ‘KX-4′ completes the 0-60mph dash in 9.4 seconds and, when fitted with the six-speed manual transmission, top speed is 120mph, CO2 emissions are 158g/km and 46.3mpg is achieved on the official combined cycle. The six-speed automatic has a top speed of 121mph whilst the CO2 emissions are 189g/km and the official combined cycle figure is 39.2mpg. Both ‘KX-4′ versions fall into insurance category 19.

Unlike the other trim versions – ‘1′, ‘2′, ‘3′ and ‘3 Sat Nav’ – which are also on offer with two wheel drive, ‘KX-4′ is only available in All-Wheel Drive (AWD). The intelligent electronically-controlled single high ratio system continuously monitors driving conditions and anticipates when AWD will be needed ensuring Sportage is always in the correct drive mode for the prevailing circumstances.

The AWD system normally delivers 100 per cent of engine torque to the front wheels. But the torque can be redistributed up to a maximum of 60:40 front-to-rear to enhance cornering stability or if road conditions deteriorate. For off-road driving, owners can manually select lock mode, which gives a 50:50 torque split at speeds of up to 25mph.

The Sportage ‘KX-4′ 2.0 CRDi 181bhp manual is priced at £27,195 OTR and the automatic at £28,500 OTR – both versions go on sale from today and, as with every new Kia, come with a fully transferable, seven year warranty as standard.

The Sportage range, priced from £17,300 OTR, has found favour with car buyers since its launch in September 2010 with over 18,000 so far finding homes in the UK. During that time in excess of 550,000 Sportages have been sold across the globe.