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Kia fleet keeps Australian Open on the move

January 27, 2011 / 1922 /

Kia Motors’ long-running support of the Australian Open tennis continued today with the handing over of 101 specially-equipped courtesy vehicles to keep the tournament’s players, officials and guests on the move.

kia tennis

In handing over the Kia Courtesy Fleet to Tennis Australia’s CEO Steve Wood, KMAu President and CEO M.K. Kim reiterated Kia’s ongoing support for tennis in Australia.

“Kia is a proud sponsor of the Australian Open, one of the world’s great sporting events, but more than that we are very pleased to be involved with the sport at many other levels in Australia, “Mr Kim said.  “Through Tennis Australia Kia supports the junior coaching program to help identify and develop the next generation of Australian Open stars.

“And there is the Kia Amateur Australian Open, an annual opportunity for a young player to share in the excitement of the main event playing against qualifiers from 15 other countries in the second week of the Australian Open.”

Accepting the Kia Courtesy Fleet on behalf of Tennis Australia, Mr Wood acknowledged the importance of the Kia cars to the logistic success of the Australian Open.

“Kia Motors makes a huge contribution to the running of the Australian Open and I am once again very pleased to accept this courtesy fleet.”

“The sight of the Kia fleet ferrying players, media and officials around Melbourne is synonymous with the Australian Open and contributes to the tangible excitement and buzz that the event brings to the city of Melbourne.”

The majority of the courtesy fleet_73 vehicles_are Australia’s favourite people-mover, the multi-award winning Kia Grand Carnival which can move up to eight people in comfort.

Also on the fleet are Kia’s exciting new mid-sized sedan, the Optima, the award-winning SUV pair of Sportage and Sorento, the Cerato small car and the eye-catching Soul.

The Kia courtesy fleet will be driven by about 20 specially trained volunteer drivers who expect to clock up more than 300,000 kilometres in thousands of journeys during the 2011 Australian Open.

Kia donates to Queensland flood victims

January 27, 2011 / 1191 /

Kia Motors Australia has committed $100,000 to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal to assist Queenslanders affected by the devastating floods sweeping the state.

“The scope of the tragedy brought by this natural disaster is difficult to comprehend,” Kia Motors Australia President and CEO Mr M.K Kim said.

Kia sales growth double that of local market

January 27, 2011 / 1717 /

Kia Motors Australia finished 2010 just how it started the year: another strong month of sales growth across the passenger and SUV segments.

kia motors

During 2010 Kia sold 23848 vehicles, an increase of 22.9% compared to 2009 and more than double the Australian new car market increase of 10.5%.

“Kia passenger sales were up 2373 units or some 15% compared to 2009 while in the competitive SUV segment, our sales were up a very pleasing 63.1% which was well ahead of the segment growth of 25%,” said Kia Motors Australia COO, Mr Tony Barlow.

“In 2011 that trend will continue as new efficient engines are incorporated into sleeker Schreyer-designed Kia vehicles. Our local product development team will also continue to optimise all new Kia vehicles to ensure they meet the high standard expected by the discerning Australian driver.”

In the passenger segment, the introduction of the 5-door Cerato to the Kia family provided a healthy sales rush. December saw 328 Ceratos retailed, 62% more than December 2009. Total sales for the year were up by 33.4%.

Kia Carnival continued its domination of people movers under $40,000 with 277 December sales providing it with 30.9% market share in the category.

In the SUV segment a successful run-out campaign and then the arrival of the award-winning all-new Sportage saw the compact SUV’s figures increase by 60.8% compared to 2009 sales results.

In terms of a year-on-year increase in sales the accolades go to Kia Sorento which showed a 66.6% improvement throughout 2010.

The roll out of new and exciting vehicles continues for Kia throughout 2011 with its first launch, the all-new Optima, to take place at the Australian Tennis Open later this month.

With its sleek appearance, a brand new direct injection petrol engine and a long list of factory fitted extras the new Optima will appear on showroom floors towards the end of January.

“With the determination of Kia to produce ever more stylish and exciting cars we are confident that the positive change in customer perception of Kia as a brand will continue,” KMAu Presdent and CEO Mr M.K. Kim said.

“While Kia will never desert our promise of outstanding value, more and more we believe people will consider Kia as a purchase of desire rather than necessity.”

Kia Grand Carnival adds to the trophy cabinet

December 29, 2010 / 1572 /

Kia’s perpetual favourite, the Grand Carnival people mover, has continued its winning streak with recognition as the winner of the People’s Choice Award for People Movers.

“Once again the Grand Carnival has proven a winner in the public forum,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Mr Tony Barlow, says. “The Grand Carnival has consistently dominated sales in the people mover segment of the market and the People’s Choice Award only underscores that.”

One in three people movers sold in Australia during November was a Kia Grand Carnival.

“It is also especially pleasing that the Grand Carnival is the third model out of Kia’s seven-model line-up to win award recognition this year follow Sportage’s success in Drive’s Best SUV under $40,000 category and Sorento’s win in the SUV over $40,000 category at Australia’s Best Cars.”

The People’s Choice Awards are considered an important measure of the strength of brands and models in the new car marketplace. Voting is based on genuine customer new car purchase enquiries placed via carsales’ network of sites, including,,, and

The votes were tallied over a 12-month period from November 1, 2009 to October 31, 2010 with each vote equalling one genuine enquiry on a new car via one of the above mentioned carsales network websites.

Research shows a very high correlation between genuine enquiry and new car purchases. This makes the People’s Choice Awards a valuable indicator of the fortunes of brands and models within the private new car market. CEO Greg Roebuck says the 2010 People’s Choice Awards were announced amidst a strongly recovering new car marketplace.

“After a challenging period for new car brands, 2010 has seen us back on track to top the million new car sales mark. The 2010 PCA winners have benefited from having great product in the market at the right time,” Roebuck said.

“The results of the People’s Choice Awards reflect strongly the sentiments and purchasing decisions of private new car buyers. Unlike other awards, the winners are not chosen by a select group of people but rather the general car shopping public. They are the result of the literally hundreds of thousands of enquiries made by new car shoppers.”

Kia Sorento takes home Australia’s Best Cars award

December 29, 2010 / 1793 /

Kia Sorento BrisbaneKia’s growing reputation as a manufacturer of quality cars with a strong desirability factor was further underscored this week with the Sorento taking home Australia’s Best Cars award for an SUV over $40,000.

The SLi Sorento diesel impressed the panel of judges from Australia’s state automotive clubs to win the ultimate accolade for both value and function.

Kia Motors Australia CEO, Mr M K Kim, said he was pleased with the formal recognition of the Sorento which had enjoyed consistent public and media praise since it was launched last year.

“The Sorento has been consistently hitting the right note with buyers and the media for almost a year now and this prestigious award is a clear sign that we are offering cars that please both the eye and the heart,” Mr Kim said.

Accepting the award at Sydney’s Randwick Racecourse, Mr Kim said the Sorento’s win, following closely on the Sportage’s success as Drive’s Best SUV Under $40,000 last week, is recognition that Kia is building cars Australians want.

“Both the Sorento and the Sportage were optimized for Australian conditions and tuned to meet the specific demands of Australian drivers,” Mr Kim said.

Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow added: “Australian drivers are a discerning group, possibly more so than in any other world market, and they have been telling us that they like what we are doing, both with the styling of the cars and the engineering.

“To have won awards with two different models is satisfying in that it is always preferable to have more than one string to your bow. That is only going to improve as further new models such as the Optima and next-generation Rio come to market next year.”

All vehicles across the Sorento range recently received a 2011 model year refresh.

The list of enhancements include the latest Bluetooth technology providing hands-free mobile phone connectivity and media streaming, all operated through steering wheel mounted controls and a headlamp escort function where low beam illuminates the ground in front of the car at night after it has been turned off, providing occupants with enough light to get from the car to the house safely.

The top two models (Sli and Platinum) received upgraded in-mirror display rear view camera offering a higher resolution image and parking guide lines, a leather wrapped instrument cluster housing and the front passenger window is now automatic both up and down with a built-in safety function.

The Platinum’s panoramic sunroof is now alarmed which is activated when the car is “OFF” and the driver’s door is opened.

Recommended Retail Pricing for the Sorento range starts at just $36,490 for the entry level Si 2WD automatic 2.4-litre petrol, with its 2.2-litre diesel counterparts available in manual and automatic, priced at $39,990 and $41,990 respectively.

Pricing (RRP) for the 2.2-litre diesel automatic SLi and Platinum models is $46,190 and $49,190 respectively.

Kia Sportage wins ‘Best SUV under $40,000’ at DRIVE awards

December 29, 2010 / 1879 /

Kia’s exciting Sportage SUV has kicked an early goal in the awards season with a win in the SUV under $40,000 category at the prestigious Drive awards.

The experienced panel of judges from the respected Drive and media group put the all-new Sportage SLi diesel automatic at the top of one of the most crowded and competitive segments in the Australian motoring landscape.

Kia Motors Australia CEO, Mr MK Kim, said he was both delighted and humbled by the decision to give the award to the Sportage.

“We have always believed that the Sportage is an exceptional car, but to have this independent recognition from such a respected body is a wonderful verification of our belief,” Mr Kim said.

“The Sportage, like all of the cars coming from Kia, is the end product of a great deal of work and dedication by everybody within Kia Motors. This recognition is shared by all of us.”

Accepting the award in Melbourne today, Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Mr Tony Barlow said: “You don’t build and launch new cars with awards in mind, but to receive an award such as this is a strong indication that what you are doing is ticking the right boxes.”

Launched in August, the Sportage is a shining example of the marriage of form and function with head-turning styling from Kia’s global design team, led by head designer Peter Schreyer and penned at the company’s Los Angeles Design Studio by Massimo Frascella, and outstanding engineering.

A key feature of the Sportage was the “localisation” of the ride and handling characteristics for the Australian market. The Sportage has specifically tuned spring and damper rates and now boasts tuned MDPS (motor driven power steering) which adds rake and reach adjustment.

Streaming Bluetooth is also standard across the Sportage range.

The 2.0-litre R series diesel is good for 135kW and 392Nm and coupled to the new 6-speed automatic, the performance is class leading.

New safety features include ESC with a new Rollover Sensor, Hillstart Assist Control (to prevent roll-back when starting on an incline and roll-forward when reversing up a slope in reverse with the manual transmission) and Downhill Brake Control (to limit speed during a steep descent).

VW’s World Car Of The Year, the all-new Polo, won the overall Drive Car Of The Year award with Sportage making the top four of the 14 category winners.

New Kia Optima Hybrid debuts at LA Auto Show

December 29, 2010 / 1595 /

Kia Optima Hybrid Brisbane(SEOUL) November 18, 2010 – Kia Motors Corporation’s next big step into the high-tech hybrid world has been unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The all-new Optima Hybrid sedan, created primarily with the US market in mind, employs a truly innovative Kia-developed powertrain that promises to deliver exceptional hybrid performanceand 5.8L/100km class-leading fuel efficiency.

Arriving in Kia dealer showrooms in the United States early next year, the 2011 Optima Hybrid is the brand’s first-ever hybrid for North America and uses a “full parallel hybrid system” to deliver a unique blend of performance – acceleration to 100kph in 9.2 seconds, top speed 195 kph – and economy, achieving a 40.7% L/100km  improvement compared with a regular Optima.

With plans to launch the “standard” Optima in Australia in January, Kia Motors Australia is closely following the progress of the new Hybrid model.

“It is certainly something we are considering closely as we move forward with Kia’s increasing exposure to alternate fuel technology,” KMAu Chief Operating Officer, Mr Tony Barlow, said.

“This is the sort of well-considered and developed technology that is now a cornerstone of Kia’s expanding model range.”

Vice-Chairman of Kia Motors Corporation, Mr Hyoung-Keun Lee, said that Kia is proud to unveil its first ever hybrid for the North American market.

“The new Optima Hybrid features a unique architecture and is packed with innovative technologies that demonstrate Kia’s on-going commitment to investing in R&D, and to developing environmentally friendly vehicles for the future,” Mr Lee says.

“Although these new technologies presented our engineers with a series of complex challenges to overcome, the resulting Optima Hybrid delivers a fully automatic, seamless and enjoyable drive, together with real-world benefits for our customers.”

The Kia Optima Hybrid is equipped with an ingenious, simple and cost-effective “parallel hybrid system”.  The 2.4-litre petrol engine is mated to a small electric motor and drives the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission – without the traditional torque converter.  A special clutch is fitted between the engine and motor, enabling the petrol engine to be de-coupled from the powertrain so that Optima can be operated in zero-emissions, full-electric drive mode from standstill up to 100km/h.  The system’s configuration does not require a high-capacity electric motor and generator, saving weight and cost.

Automatic, seamless daily driving experience

When setting off the Optima Hybrid operates in Electric Mode.  As vehicle speed rises, the Hybrid Starter motor/Generator (HSG) starts the petrol engine and the clutch is closed, allowing the engine to take over the task of propelling the car.  The electric motor switches into hybrid operation and serves as both a secondary engine (during full acceleration and hill-climbing) and a generator to recharge the battery pack as necessary.  Whenever the car comes a stop for more than a few seconds, the engine automatically shuts off to completely eliminate emissions.

When braking, the electric motor converts kinetic energy into electricity for storage in the battery pack.  The 8.5kW HSG also functions as a generator to re-charge the battery pack if the state of charge is low and when the car is stationary.  Throughout the entire driving experience, in everyday motoring, under all conditions, the entire hybrid operation is automatic and seamless.

An unusually responsive and rewarding drive is guaranteed by the Optima Hybrid’s 30kW Interior Permanent Magnet (IPM) synchronous electric motor, which produces 30kW and 205Nm of torque from 0-to-1400rpm in electric mode, and the combined (electric motor plus petrol engine) hybrid powertrain output of 154kW and 265Nm.

Described by Kia engineers as a Transmission-Mounted-Electric-Drive (TMED), the 30kW IPM electric motor sits within the car’s extended transmission casing (between the petrol engine and the automatic gearbox) and is the world’s first oil-cooled system.

Kia’s Optima Hybrid employs a lithium polymer battery array developed in partnership with LG Chem.  Lithium polymer offers the benefits of lithium-ion (used in laptops and cell phones), but adds robustness and packaging flexibility, making it ideal for automotive applications.  These new batteries provide an optimum balance between power delivery, energy density and thermal stability.

Compared with nickel-metal hydride batteries, lithium polymer batteries weigh 20-to-30% less, occupy 40% less volume and are 10% more efficient.  They also hold their charge for 25% longer than nickel metal hydride batteries and are so reliable that the Optima’s battery pack will not require replacing during the vehicle’s lifespan – at least 10 years and 250,000 kilometres.

The power and energy density of this new type of battery enabled Kia engineers to create a lighter more compact power pack – with a 34kW output and weighing just 43.6kg– designed to minimize intrusion of the Optima’s trunk space.

The complete hybrid system is controlled by the Optima’s Hybrid Control Unit (HCU) which acts as the car’s mastermind and integrates the smooth operation of the engine’s ECU, transmission’s TCU, battery management system (BMS), low voltage converter (LDC).  This brain also gives the Optima a “fail-safe” back-up capability and a “limp-home” mode.

Optimizing the Theta II gasoline engine

Taking advantage of the instant and continuously available torque from the electric motor, Kia modified its popular 2.4-litre Theta II engine to operate on an Atkinson cycle, raising the compression ratio by 20% to maximize its efficiency and achieving a 10% fuel saving over a regular Theta engine. This cycle generates a little less torque, but the electric motor compensates for any loss and consequently, the Optima Hybrid’s overall power and torque outputs are greater than the regular model.

For the Optima Hybrid, Kia has modified the six-speed automatic transmission found on the conventional Optima for hybrid application.  The traditional torque converter is replaced with an electric motor and a high-efficiency oil pump. This new gearbox allows EV mode operation, maximizes regeneration of kinetic energy during braking and also provides a more responsive drive than a CVT system.

To maximize the Optima Hybrid’s performance and minimize fuel consumption, special attention has been paid to its aerodynamics.  The car is lowered by 5mm and new features include an active air flap in the front grille, smooth underfloor panels, low-drag wheels and low rolling resistance tyres.  The drag coefficient is lowered to a remarkable 0.26.

Energy and fuel-saving technology features in the Optima Hybrid include a regenerative braking system, electric – rather than hydraulic – assisted power steering, and an electric air compressor capable of delivering high air-conditioning performance.

Two independent liquid cooling systems are fitted to the Optima Hybrid powertrain.  The standard high-temperature circuit manages engine cooling and passenger compartment heating.  The second low-temperature circuit cools the hybrid starter-generator and the power electronics.  The trunk-mounted battery pack does not require liquid cooling and its temperature is controlled by a simple ventilation fan beneath the rear parcel shelf.

Stylish luxurious sedan with premium features

Aside from its unique hybrid powertrain the new Optima Hybrid incorporates all the technical features and the multiple choice of premium comfort and convenience equipment offered by its regular stablemates.

All Optima models share common major dimensions and a unitary construction.  Featuring front-wheel-drive, Optima utilizes independent suspension systems, with MacPherson struts in the front and a multi-link layout at the rear.

Outside, new Optima Hybrid offers dual exhausts with chrome tips, solar glass, outside mirror turn signal indicators and 16-inch alloy wheels fitted with 205/65R16 tyres.  As an option, 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/55/R17 tyres will be available.

Inside, the instrument panel has an ECO Guide to promote economical driving habits and is contoured toward the driver to suggest a cockpit feel with precise gauges and controls for an overall sport performance experience without sacrificing comfort or roominess. Modern standard features such as six-way adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support, illuminated vanity mirrors and a trip computer further expand the cabin’s luxurious qualities.  In addition to offering a comfortable cabin, impressive technology features also come standard throughout, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system.

Kia Motors Corporation donates USD100,000 to Indonesian disaster relief

December 29, 2010 / 1314 /

kia-brisbaneKia Motors Corporation has presented Palang Merah Indonesia (a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) with a donation of USD100,000 to aid in the relief efforts of the nation’s recent disasters.  The cheque was presented to Muhammad Jusuf Kalla, current Chairman of Palang Merah Indonesia and former Vice President of Indonesia, during a ceremony in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Over the past weeks, the country has been hit by a number of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and a tsunami affecting thousands of people and their families.  Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano began erupting late last month, killing hundreds of people and displacing more than 100,000.  On the same day, a strong earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale struck off the coast of Sumatra Island, triggering a tsunami and killing at least 449 people and displacing some 15,000 to date.

“Our thoughts are with those affected by the recent disasters,” said Seon-Pil Choi, Chief of Kia Motors Asia Office.  “We hope this assistance will reach these families in the form of food, medical assistance, shelter and countless other supplies needed in order to begin rebuilding their lives.”

Kia Motors has been committed to the Indonesia market since 2000 when they first began providing vehicles to the country and has donated in the wake of past disasters hitting the country.  After Indonesia’s catastrophic earthquake on May 27, 2006, Kia Motors donated USD40,000 to support the relief efforts for victims of the disaster.

Kia Motors has been an active participant in providing emergency assistance to various disaster relief efforts around the world in the form of funds, ambulances, relief goods and other aid. Countries that have benefited from Kia’s disaster relief contributions include the US, India, Greece, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Iran, Algeria, China, Australia, Haiti and Chile.

Brisbane Kia Dealership in Toowong Grand opening

November 27, 2010 / 5066 /

Rising Korean car maker Kia has appointed a new dealership to serve Brisbane motorists and the timing couldn’t be better. Toowong Kia started operations recently at 601 Milton Road, on a well know site which it shares with Toowong Mitsubishi are the Toowong Roundabout.

Serving buyers and service parts customers in the central business district and surrounding suburbs, Toowong Kia completes a network of Kia dealerships in the Brisbane Region. Dealer principal Craig Burgess says his family owned franchise has launched at an ideal time, with new Kia models just released or arriving soon in the showroom. ‘Kia as a brand has been growing steadily for the past 12 months. The kia sportive SUV is proving very popular with SUV buyers and so is the Cerato small car.

The Cerato sedan has just been joined by a very attractive five-door hatchback variant, the medium size Sorrent SUV has just been awarded the maximum five-star crash protection rating, the 2 door Koup is expanding to two models and we are keenly looking forward to the early 2011 launch of the striking all-new Optima sedan.

All these models represent the very latest in family car technology for performance, safety, economy and comfort. Kia’s diesel engines, in particular, provide an outstanding driving experience with their strong power, smoothness, low fuel consumption and minimal emissions’. But a tempting model choice should not be the only consideration when shopping for a new car at Brisbane Kia in Toowong, Mr Burgess advises.

The promise of good service and support is also improtant for long-term ownership enjoyment. “It starts with ensuring the customer has a completely satisfactory buying experience and continues with a service department that is decocted to maintaining the car in optimum condition with minimal inconvenience or expense for the owner. We strive for that at Toowong Kia Brisabne. We’re a family company and deliver the kind of service people would expect with that.

While the new Kia models continue to arrive, Brisbane Kia in Toowong is preparing to display them in a new stand alone showroom to be built early in the new year. It will be the first dealership in Australia to adopt Kia’s new corporate design style.

KIA Motors Australia posts 25% sales increase for October

November 11, 2010 / 1758 /

New Kia BrisbaneKia Motors Australia has continued its impressive 2010 sales growth with yet another strong month in October.

With 1946 vehicles sold in October, making a total of 20,142 so far this year, the refreshed model line-up is continuing to kick goals with a 25.1% month-on-month increase and 24.4% year-to-date increase over last year.

Passenger vehicle sales were up for the month by 20.4% compared to October 2009 but the big increase was in the SUV segment which experienced a huge jump, up 55.6% in the monthly comparison and 69.4% when compared to the same year-to-date period last year.

“Our line up will only continue to get stronger,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Tony Barlow. “The Peter Schreyer design makes the new cars stand out visually while the torquey new-generation engines are built to perform and to meet the latest emission standards.

“When this is combined with our local optimisation program where we adapt the ride and handling characteristics of our vehicles to specifically meet the tastes of the Australian driver, the Kia range becomes a very attractive proposition for the discerning new car buyer.”

There were a number of highlights for Kia in October, including a strong month by the Carnival people mover, with month on month sales jumping by 134.1%.

The all-new Sportage compact SUV is hitting its mark with the new model outselling the old by 44.6% compared to last October. Its big brother, the Sorento also had a spectacular month with month-on-month figures up 83.3% and year to date sales up 58.4%.

Next on the launch scene for Kia is the 5-door Cerato Hatchback which is landing on showroom floors throughout November. The sporty hatch is already being well received, particularly by the big car hire companies.


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