LOS ANGELES - Now that Hyundai and Kia are sharing components and engines, the next step will be figuring out how to differentiate their products.
For now, though, combining parts and powertrain families will be the priority for the corporate siblings. The fine points of brand management will come later.
Eventually there will be more distinction between Hyundai and Kia models. For instance, a pickup being developed may have different wheelbases for the two brands, and it is not clear which brand will get which version.
Sharing platforms allows the two Korean automakers to expand their model lines. The Hyundai Tucson sport wagon shares a platform with the Kia Sportage, and the big Kia Amanti sedan is derived from the Hyundai XG350.
Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor Co.'s Namyang r&d center is working on vehicles for a separate luxury channel for Hyundai Motor America, possibly by the end of the decade.
Here's what Hyundai and Kia Motors Corp. are planning for the United States for the 2005-08 model years, based on company and other sources.
|Accent redesigned||Sonata, XG350 redesigned||Tiburon, Elantra, Santa Fe redesigned||Possible large SUV debut|
|Tucson sport wagon debuts||Minivan debuts|
|Sportage redesigned||Rio, Optima, Sedona redesigned|
|Amanti sedan, Spectra hatchback debut|
Accent: The redesigned Accent arrives this fall. The car was designed with Korea in mind, not so much for American tastes. Expect slightly more creased sheet metal but still a Korean-looking vehicle.
A new 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine may be equipped with variable valve timing.
Elantra: A redesign is planned for the 2007 model year. The current generation may receive a midcycle engine upgrade to add variable valve timing.
Tiburon: No changes are expected until the 2007 model year when a redesign is planned. A convertible may be added.
Sonata: The redesign is planned for the 2006 model year. Although it will share a platform with the Kia Optima, the Hyundai version will be slightly longer and have smoother flowing lines, similar to the Lexus ES 330's lines.
Hyundai will continue to offer four- and six-cylinder models. The V-6 will be the new all-aluminum 230-hp 3.3-liter.
XG350: The redesign arrives as a 2006 model, developed off a stretched version of the platform it will share with the Sonata. It may get a new name, possibly Dimension. A 3.8-liter V-6 probably will replace the car's 3.5-liter engine.
Equus: The image of Hyundai's rear-drive luxury sedan has slipped in the eyes of Korean consumers. The automaker is deciding how to emulate BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Engine choices are expected to be the 252-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 and an update of the 4.5-liter V-8.
The Equus could be the lead vehicle for a U.S. luxury channel. The redesigned car is expected to bow in Korea in 2007. The U.S. debut might be a couple years after that.
Rwd luxury sedan: Hyundai is working on a rwd sedan that could be aimed at the Infiniti G35. The car may be marketed under a new luxury brand or under the Hyundai name. It could arrive in the 2009 or 2010 model year.
Tucson: The sport wagon debuts this fall, powered by a choice of 140-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder or the 173-hp, 2.7-liter V-6. The five-passenger vehicle shares the Elantra platform and will be positioned below the Santa Fe.
Six airbags will be standard, including side curtain bags. Stability control will be optional.
Santa Fe: The redesigned Santa Fe will be as large as a Honda Pilot. The 2007 Santa Fe has crisp outside lines, a choice of 2.7-liter or 3.8-liter V-6 engines and a third-row seat designed to fit adults.
Large SUV: An SUV that would be based on a pickup platform is under study. A true body-on-frame vehicle, it may debut for the 2008 model year. A decision is expected soon. One possible name is Telluride, a company source says.
Minivan: Hyundai's U.S. dealers will get one in spring 2006, with the Hyundai version sharing components with the redesigned Kia Sedona. It is expected to be powered by a 3.8-liter V-6 engine. The minivan is expected to be about the size of the Dodge Grand Caravan.
Trademark filings show that Hyundai may call the vehicle the Entourage.
Pickup: Both Hyundai and Kia are expected to enter the pickup game. Although Hyundai usually gets the larger version of products shared with Kia, Hyundai's truck might be mid-sized - more in the Dodge Dakota range. Kia would offer a full-sized pickup. Neither pickup is expected before the 2009 model year.
Rio: The redesign debuts for the 2006 model year, developed off a vehicle platform it will share with the Hyundai Accent replacement. Four- and five-door variants are expected.
Spectra: The redesigned 2004 sedan arrived last spring. A five-door hatchback arrives this fall.
Sport coupe, convertible: Kia's version of the redesigned Hyundai Tiburon coupe will debut as a 2009 model.
Optima: The redesign debuts as a 2006 model with an exterior that seems to have been influenced by the Volkswagen Passat.
Two engines will be available: a new 2.4-liter inline four cylinder and the carryover 2.7-liter V-6. The cycle timing of the platform is not in sync with the engine program, so it may be a couple years before the Optima gets the new 3.3-liter V-6 from Hyundai.
Amanti: The upmarket sedan debuted this year. Kia may short-cycle the car and replace it with a version of the next-generation Hyundai Equus sedan.
Rwd sport sedan: Kia likely will share a variant of the Hyundai luxury sedan, although Kia's will have a more sporty flavor. It could arrive in the 2009 or 2010 model year.
Sedona: Kia may have the best of the minivan-sharing plan with Hyundai. Kia will offer short- and long-wheelbase versions. For the redesign, Hyundai gets only a long-wheelbase version. The long-wheelbase Kia model arrives for the 2006 model year, while the short-wheelbase is a 2007 model year addition.
The V-6 engine's displacement could be boosted to 3.8 liters and mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.
The redesigned 2005 Kia Sportage, top, shares a unibody platform with the 2005 Hyundai Tuscon, bottom.
Sorento: Transmission and engine upgrades are planned for the 2005 and 2006 model years.
Pickup: Kia is expected to get a pickup after the 2008 model year.