The flagship sedan of a car brand represents the highest level of manufacturing of its own brand, symbolizes strength, and has an important significance to enhance the overall brand externally. The most representative one is the Phaeton from Volkswagen. This Volkswagen flagship sedan has carried the banner of Volkswagen’s flagship since its launch in 2002. Its version equipped with a 6.0L W12 engine is the cheapest and has to land millions of dollars. Unfortunately, the good times did not last long. After Piech stepped down, the Phaeton was also facing production suspension. After all, maintaining a production line of a top luxury car could not achieve profitability. After being fined, the public could hardly support it.
Although it is difficult for flagship models to be profitable by comparison, the flagship sedan is particularly important for auto groups that want to actively rise to the top. For example, Kia Motors, a subsidiary of Hyundai-Kia Motors Group, is eager to seek brand transformation. Li Feng, general manager of Dongfeng Yueda Kia, said: Dongfeng Yueda Kia will no longer launch models below 100,000 yuan in the future. This statement also represents the future development trend of the entire Kia Motors brand, which will assume the mid-to-high-end model market in the future, so the flagship model that can increase the overall brand impact is placed on the Kia K9.
Recently, overseas media have exposed a set of unofficial renderings of the newly modified Kia K9 (known as K900 in the North American market). This is also the first new car with a new standard after the Kia brand announced its new brand strategy.
Although it is not a replacement model, the appearance of the new Kia K9 is very different from the current model. It is not an exaggeration to describe it as a replacement. From the renderings, we can see that the revised Kia K9 headlights adopt a new shape. The thick eyebrows make the headlights more sharp. The interior is composed of four and a half “L” shaped LED lamp beads. The design of the hot Kia K5 lamp group is similar.
The air intake grille of Kia K9 adopts a flat hexagonal design. The interior uses a hexagonal mesh design. The outer ring is supplemented by chrome decoration. The elements of the front face of the Tiger-style family are relatively lighter than other models. The overall trend is toward the “big mouth” design of Audi and Ford models. The brand new KIA logo design is placed on the hood above the grille, which is more than a little higher than the current black logo.
The rear side is a very beautiful angle of the Kia K9. The Kia K9 adopts the front-rear drive power layout, so the design will be biased towards the short front overhang, the wheel arch and the door have a long distance, and the long rear overhang design Let the overall side have a design aesthetic. Kia K9 also uses the most popular through-type LED taillight design at the rear. At present, the mainstream design of Korean cars basically uses this element, such as Hyundai Sonata 10, Kia K5 and other cars.
In terms of power, the Kia K9 will likely continue the previous 3.8L V6 engine, matching an 8-speed automated manual transmission. However, the professor believes that if the 2.5T four-cylinder turbocharged engine on the new Sorento and the new Jiahua is more suitable, the maximum power output of this engine is 290 horsepower, the maximum torque output is 420 Nm, and the low torque performance is even better. Ample. In addition, if the engine is replaced with a smaller displacement engine, the cost and tax can be reduced, and the lower terminal price will be more conducive to sales. After all, without the blessing of luxury brand halo, consumers are more willing to choose cost-effective models.
Kia K9 is positioned as a medium-to-large sedan. The domestic market belongs to the same level as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series. We don’t know the body size data of the new Kia K9, but we can use the 2015 Kia K9 for reference. Its length, width and height are 5090/1900/1490 mm, and the wheelbase is 3045 mm. The new model is believed to be in terms of size. Will be further upgraded.
Although no lengthening was carried out, at the time this size data was even larger than that of the mainstream luxury brand C-class models. The 2015 Kia K9 was priced at 558,000 yuan at that time, and the top model was priced as high as 758,800 yuan. It is comparable to the entry-level version of BMW 7 Series, Audi A8L and other models. Therefore, the positioning of Kia K9 lies in the C+ level, between the C and D levels.
I have to mention a bit, many friends will be wondering why the Kia K5 belongs to the standard B-class sedan and the Kia K9 belongs to the C-class sedan. Then what is the positioning of the Kia K7 in the middle? In fact, this is Kia’s previous model positioning A kind of marketing strategy-leapfrog attack. In terms of class and size, Kia K9 can completely match D-class cars such as the standard axle 7 series, but it has more advantages in the C-class car camp, so as to achieve a high half-class effect. Similarly, the Kia K7 is actually a B+ class car, which is in the same class as the Buick LaCrosse and Toyota Asia Dragon.
As mentioned above, the Kia K9 currently plays a role in raising the brand’s height in Kia Motors, because the current Kia K9 is difficult to achieve the state of volume. According to foreign media reports, the North American market delivered only 305 Kia K9s last year, which was 85 less than the previous year. Competitor LS in the North American market has sold 3617 units, twelve times the current Kia K9.
Although the sales of Kia K9 has no chance of winning in the face of competing luxury brands, this is also a dilemma faced by ordinary car brands, and is by no means unique to Kia. Even the first-line family car brand Toyota, the 14th-generation Crown has not been updated after the domestic market has stopped production due to poor sales, and the sales of Volkswagen Huiang are not in a state of stunned. However, Kia is still full of confidence in the K9 car series and believes that it will further enhance its competitiveness and increase sales. Whether it is possible to introduce production and sales in the domestic market in the future, the professor believes that it is related to the sales of Kia’s domestic market in the next two years.
Affected by the new crown epidemic last year, many car companies have suffered a decline in sales, disrupting their original layout plans, but Hyundai-Kia Motors Group still insists on innovating new cars, and has plans from flagship to entry-level. It is very rare. If the Kia K9 can re-enter the domestic production in the future, it will not only save costs and reduce the price, but also attract more consumers to buy. It will also be of great help to guide Kia’s overall brand upward.