Kia Strips Down K9 to Stay Competitive Amid Slow Sales

Kia Motors said Thursday it has launched the new version of its premium sedan K9. The 2014 K9 comes with a modified front end and reduced prices in a bid to combat the slow sales of the previous version.

The model equipped with a 3.3-liter engine retails for between W49.90 million and 55.90 million (US$1=W1,063), making it up to W6.15 million cheaper than its predecessor. The price for the larger 3.8-liter engine fell by up to W6.60 million to range from W62.60 million to 78.30 million.

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Kia removed several features to facilitate lowering the base cost of the new K9 to around W50 million. As such, expensive cutting-edge features such as the model's head-up display now stand as luxury options rather than part of the basic spec.

To commemorate the launch of the new K9, Kia plans to invite VIP customers to enjoy free services such as haircuts, shoe polishing and individualized wardrobe styling at a hotel in Seoul until Jan. 17.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 10, 2014 09:42 KST