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2024 Kia Sportage CKD SUV confirmed for Malaysia – volume rival to Honda CR-V; petrol first, hybrid later – paultan.org

2024 Kia Sportage CKD SUV confirmed for Malaysia – volume rival to Honda CR-V; petrol first, hybrid later – paultan.org


The Kia Sportage is one of those cars that are perpetually ‘coming soon’ – some said that the fifth-generation SUV would be launched in 2022, but here we are in 2024 and there’s no sign of the C-segment Honda CR-V fighter. Yet, because it is coming, confirmed by Bermaz group CEO Datuk Francis Lee Kok Chuan in an interview with The Edge.

Lee told the business paper that the Sportage will be the next volume key driver for Bermaz, with the group aiming to sell 4,000 to 5,000 units of the SUV a year. It will be CKD locally assembled at the Inokom plant in Kulim, Kedah, alongside Kia’s bigger Sorento SUV and Carnival MPV.

If that sounds like a healthy volume for a Kia model, it’s because Kia will soon assume responsibility as Bermaz’s ‘volume generator’, a role that Mazda plays now. However, Mazda is set to go upmarket in Malaysia with its next-generation models that will arrive over the next two to three years, Lee said.

2024 Kia Sportage CKD SUV confirmed for Malaysia – volume rival to Honda CR-V; petrol first, hybrid later

“Kia’s Asia-Pacific office is based in KL and they want to make the ASEAN project work because they are already good everywhere, except in ASEAN and China. So, now, they are putting a lot of emphasis on the ASEAN market,” Lee said.

“The Sportage is selling very well worldwide; in fact, they don’t have CBU (imported) cars for us to bring in,” the Bermaz CEO added, revealing that the company will market the internal combustion engine variant of the Sportage first before introducing they hybrid.

First revealed in mid 2021, the latest Sportage wears a bold new look that follows the Korean carmaker’s ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy. Big in Europe, it was launched with a choice of two ICE options (a 1.6L turbo petrol and a 2.0L turbodiesel) as well as hybrid and plug-in hybrid options.

GALLERY: Kia Sportage Hybrid (Korea market)

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2024 Kia Sportage CKD SUV confirmed for Malaysia – volume rival to Honda CR-V; petrol first, hybrid later – paultan.org
2024 Kia Sportage CKD SUV confirmed for Malaysia – volume rival to Honda CR-V; petrol first, hybrid later – paultan.org

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