NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Earlier this week, I showcased four public companies that were spending the $4 million required for a 30 second advertisement spot during Super Bowl XLVIII. Now it's time to look at the automobile companies that will shell out the large amount to show off their new cars and trucks. The most intriguing of these companies is Kia Motors (OTC: KIMTF), which will use the Super Bowl to show off its first entry in the luxury sedan market.
Kia Motors, which is also 34% owned by Hyundai Motors (OTC: HYMLF), is paying $4 million to Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) - Get Report to introduce consumers to its V8 K900 luxury sedan. The commercial called "The Truth" features actor Laurence Fishburne reprising his role of Morpheus from The Matrix trilogy of movies. In the commercial, Morpheus will offer a red key and a blue key to a couple trying to pick a luxury sedan.
By launching into the luxury sedan market, Kia will now compete with BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and its parent company Hyundai. Kia has had success as a low-cost new vehicle provider in the U.S. and regions of Asia. It will be interesting to see what the new luxury sedan can do for the carmaker.
In 2013, Hyundai and Kia sold a combined 7.56 million vehicles, which was well ahead of the 7.41 million forecasted by the company. However, Hyundai is now forecasting slow growth to 7.86 million units in 2014, which falls well shy of analysts' targeted 8 million vehicle mark. Kia may be able to help boost the company's goal if it can gain strong sales of its new luxury sedan.
The K900 is scheduled to release in spring with a retail price around $50,000. This will come in well below comparable peers. Kia does still have trouble with its brand being associated with cheap automobiles. I think the company could begin to move past that with good reviews of the K900 and strong initial sales.
Other automobile companies that will show advertisements during the big game are: Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Volkswagen, Chevrolet and Chrysler. Hyundai, along with its Kia ad, will show two commercials of its own. This marks the seventh consecutive year for a Hyundai ad during the Super Bowl. "The Truth" will mark the fifth straight Super Bowl with a Kia advertisement.
Aside from the launch of its new luxury sedan, Kia is also expected to bring its electric vehicle version of the Kia Soul to the U.S. in 2014. This will mark the first EV from Kia outside of its home country of South Korea. The car is expected to get 120 miles per gallon equivalent, which is ahead of most competitors. 2014 is also big for Kia, as it is an official sponsor of the World Cup behind held in Brazil. The company should see key product placement and advertising during the highly watched international event, which could provide a boost for brand awareness and sales during the year.
Kia and Hyundai continue to see small gains in market share in several regions around the world. Kia is a growing brand that continues to elevate its offerings, while maintaining low costs for new car owners. The entry into luxury sedans is an interesting one and could pay off big for the company. Both Kia and Hyundai trade on international exchanges and also on the OTC. With a 34% ownership of Kia and a great brand portfolio of its own, Hyundai shares might be worth buying in 2014.
At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.
Chris Katje has been fascinated with the stock market since a young age. That passion turned into a freelance writing career that began in 2008. Mr. Katje has seen his work appear on Seeking Alpha, the Motley Fool, The Street, and Variety. Chris's annual top ten stock picks list continues to beat the market and grow in popularity. You can follow Chris on Twitter (@chriskatje).