Kia will disclose the look of a possible future subcompact SUV by unveiling the KED 10 concept car at the Frankfurt auto show next month. A production model would be a rival to the Nissan Juke, the segment's leader in Europe.
The concept "hints at a possible future B-segment contender ready to take on the urban environment with style and tenacity," Kia said in a statement. Kia press officers confirmed that the styling hints at a small SUV.
Kia said in the same statement that "although there are no current plans for production, the vehicle's unveiling in Frankfurt will be used to gauge potential customer response for future showroom models."
A subcompact SUV would fill in a gap in Kia's model range and give it an entry into a fast-growing subcompact SUV niche. Kia sister brand Hyundai unveiled a small SUV concept car, the Curb, at the 2011 Detroit auto show.
KED 10 stands for Kia Europe Design 10 as it is the tenth concept car designed by the brand's European styling studio.
The larger Sportage compact SUV faces heavy competition in the United States. U.S. sales of the vehicle fell 26 percent to 17,897 through July. Kia's overall truck sales fell 18 percent in a market that has risen 8 percent this year. Sportage sales in Europe fared better in the first half to 47,566 units, up from 42,901 in 2012, according to JATO Dynamics data.