Shy Koreans in Frankfurt: no hybrids for Europeans

Hyundai-Sonata-hybridCar manufacturers from South Korea are known the world over for their aggressive pricing, and bold product ranges with short product cycles. Hyundai and Kia (2 separate brands from a same group) are both very quick to bring new models to market, but strangely all those nice theories don’t seem to apply to hybrids in Europe. Hyundai was showing its hybrid Sonata in Frankfurt (left pic), and Kia its Optima hybrid (right pic).

Kia-Optima-hybridBoth models are currently on sale in the US, but none is in Europe. Hyundai was showing its Sonata to show that it has mastered hybrid technology, but it doesn’t have a single plan to sell that car in Europe. Kia’s better. The brand is thinking about making its sharp-looking Optima hybrid available to some Europeans (it wouldn’t sell in all European countries) in 2013. But even that is far from certain, and the plan maybe cancelled.

So Europe is, and would remain without a single Korean hybrid?