Daily Podcast: Come Again?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Kia’s latest Peter Schreyer-designed mini-MPV is being shown in production form at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Unfortunately named the Kia Venga, this five seater is like a more practical Kia Soul. Only instead of getting funky styling you get standard stop-start technology. This car will almost certainly build more momentum for Kia in Europe, where scrappage mania has made Kia one of the fastest-growing brands. And this model was designed and engineered exclusively for Europe. In short, Kia is doing in Europe what VW wants to do in the US. And unlike VW, the image-shifting products are already arriving. Look out.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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4 of 6 comments
  • Matt51 Matt51 on Aug 18, 2009

    Japanese companies copied the best in the West, until they could figure out a better way to do a job. Makes sense, if you don't have a better idea, don't be too proud to copy. GM was too proud to copy Honda/Toyota for far too long. Korean companies have low cost electricity, as like China, they use dirty coal. So Japan, which has nuclear, will never be price competitive with Korea or China. If you add all the electricity used to produce a car, including the steel, aluminum and all supplier parts, it is far larger than the cost of labor. Often a buildings electricity is buried in overhead, but if you look at total electricity cost, it is a very large part of producing a car. So Japan is screwed by Korea/China/India use of coal.

  • WetWilly WetWilly on Aug 18, 2009
    So Japan is screwed by Korea/China/India use of coal. Coincidentally, I can guess three countries that probably won't be signing completely on for Kyoto II. As for the Venga, Hyundai really ought to consider stealing it (like they did the cee'd/i30CW -> Elantra Touring) and badging it as the next Accent. Sticking the 156hp 2.0 World Engine in it and offering it here with the panoramic roof would be even better.
  • Charly Charly on Aug 18, 2009

    Tony Samsung is the Toyota of TV's Matt The only place in production were the price is meaningful is in making the metals, but those can be cheaply imported.

  • Matt51 Matt51 on Aug 19, 2009

    No Charly, electricity is used to run all the machine tools, and light all the plants. Go read up a couple articles here on TTAC "Cash for Clunkers - The Environmental Cost of a New Car" where the amount of energy required to produce a car is given. Car manufacturing will chase cheap electricity ahead of cheap labor.