Kia’s Pride makes a comeback

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Kia’s Pride makes a comeback

Kia Motors Corp. revived an old flame yesterday as it introduced vamped-up models of its compact car Pride, the most representative Korean small car of the 1990s. At Kia’s headquarters in southern Seoul, the automaker presented the new 1400cc and 1600cc gas-engine models, which retail for 8.4 million to 10.2 million won. “We have improved the standards of the compact car and hope that the new Pride will continue the legacy of the old model,” said chief executive officer Kim Ik-hwan. Although it was subject to numerous jokes because of its small size, the Pride was one of Kia’s most popular models, a symbol of frugality and efficiency ― key advantages in an era of sky-high oil prices. It sold about 1.3 million units from 1987 to 2000, when Kia discontinued the Pride. Kia said that it spent 210 billion won ($207 million) over two years to develop the new Pride, which has a maximum output of 112 horsepower. The company boasted that the Pride is fuel efficient but its engine is more powerful than that of its rivals. A diesel model that meets European emission standards will be released next month, the first Korean passenger car with a diesel engine. Kia is hoping to sell 20,000 units in Korea and 130,000 units overseas annually. It will begin exporting the Pride to the United States and Europe this year. by Wohn Dong-hee

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