As General Motors' Saturn brand ushers its owners toward orphan-make status, at least one company is swooping in to pick at the bones of its carcass. Kia has been doing well lately, unlike nearly everyone else, its sales actually grew this year. The brand has been adding dealers by picking up ex-Saturn stores and looks to continue building market share in the East, as well as in selected large cities on the West Coast. Kia's VP of sales, Tom Loveless tells Automotive News there has been no concerted plan to go after Saturn dealers, they just happen to be in the markets Kia wants to expand into, and that some ex-Hummer and Chrysler dealers have joined, as well.
More interesting than tales of dealer signage changes is what may be coming product-wise. The Soul and Forte have been getting attention, and more new stuff is on the way as the 2011 Sorento drops in January. The Optima and Sportage both get the re-do treatment for 2011, and a hybrid lands in 2012. To counter the geek-chic of battery power, word is the sharp-looking Forte Koup might get an iron lung hung off its engine, making it the brand's first turbocharged car. Loveless seems open to the idea, calling it "a natural extension, if it makes financial sense." Word.
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]