Kia Motors Corp., South Korea’s second-largest automaker, said Wednesday it has decided to delay the scheduled launch of its popular K5 passenger sedan in the European market until the second half of the year due to an under-supply.
The vehicle, currently sold as the Optima in the U.S. market, was initially scheduled to be shipped to Europe in the first half of the year.
“We earlier planned to begin exports in the first half of the year, but have been forced to delay the schedule to the later half of the year due to an under-supply,” a company executive said.
The vehicle will also be sold as the Optima in the European market with sales there likely to start in September, he added.
The company and its labor union recently agreed to increase their production of K5 cars from 40 units to 44.4 per hour, but the official said the additional output will merely be enough to meet domestic demand.
Since its launch here in May 2010, the mid-size sedan has won various local and global awards for design and performance, including the “best of the best” title in the 2011 Red Dot Design Award.