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Kia reverses Rio diesel price parity

03 January 2006

Diesel versions of the Kia Rio now cost £500 more than petrol equivalents, following a second price rise across the supermini range.

When the car was launched in September 2005, diesel-engined cars were priced at the same level as petrol models. This bucked an industry-wide trend, in which manufacturers routinely put premiums of £1000 or more on diesel-engined models.

Now Kia says worldwide demand for the Rio is putting pressure on all Rio prices, with the UK's expected allocation of 2006 cars slashed from 15,000 to 6000.

Managing director of Kia Paul Williams said: 'So far in 2005 we have only been able to supply 1500 Rios because of production constraints. That means the economics of our pricing strategy simply do not stand up, and I am afraid that means we will not be able to hold the diesel price alongside the petrol price.'

Petrol-engined versions rise £500 to £8495 for a 1.4 GS and £9495 for an LX. Diesel-powered Rios are up £1000, and now cost £8995 in GS trim and £9995 as an LX.

The latest price increases follow other rises, which averaged 4% and took effect in December 2005. These saw prices rise from £200 on the Picanto city car to £1170 on the Sorento 4x4.

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