During the New York show, an international jury of journalists named the Ioniq 5 World Car of the Year. It is the first in a line of forthcoming EVs that will be part of the Ioniq subbrand.
Sibling brand Kia also is emphasizing electric. The EV6, which shares a platform with the Ioniq 5, has been attracting consumer interest, and a larger Telluride-sized crossover, the EV9, will be the next to launch in the U.S. Kia America COO Steve Center told Automotive News that production of the EV9 would begin in the fall of 2023.
At the show, Kia introduced its second-generation Niro subcompact crossover, confirming it will come to North America, offering a gasoline-electric hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric variant.
Kia and Hyundai both revealed midcycle makeovers of their flagship three-row crossovers — the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade, both of them kid-haulers that have been successful since their 2020 model year debut.
The Telluride posted a 25 percent increase last year, with sales of almost 94,000. The Palisade closed the year up 5 percent, topping 86,500 sales.
Amid slow industry first-quarter sales, the Palisade fell 0.9 percent to 21,025, but the Telluride squeaked out a 1 percent year-over-year bump, topping 22,000 sales. It was one of the few vehicles in Kia's lineup to post a gain.
But Center said Kia doesn't want to take anything for granted and is committed to an "overall strategy to keep products fresh."
"Telluride has brought more than 75 percent of customers that are new to the brand," Center said.
In response, Kia announced in New York that it will increase production of the Telluride by 20 percent at its West Point, Ga., facility, where the K5 midsize sedan, Sportage compact crossover and Sorento midsize crossover also are assembled.