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New Kia Ambassador leads the way

May 31, 2012 / 1449 /

Australian Under 20 Rugby Union captain Liam Gill has joined another winning team as the latest Brand Ambassador for Kia Motors Australia.

Gill is fast carving himself a place in Australia’s rugby union’s future with some outstanding efforts in his role as openside flanker for the Queensland Reds in the FxPro Super Rugby, and the 19-year-old has been rewarded with the captaincy of the Australian team for the Junior World Championships in South Africa next month.

“”I’m thrilled to be given another opportunity at the Junior World Championships _ it’s a great tournament to play in,” Gill said.

Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow, said the decision to invite Gill on board as a Brand Ambassador was an easy one to make.

“Liam is an exciting young player making his way in a very tough and demanding professional sporting endeavour through determination, hard work and undeniable talent,” Mr Barlow said.

“They are attributes that we at Kia, as a challenger brand, value and understand. We are delighted to have a young man of Liam’s stature represent our brand and our company.”

Gill said the opportunity to be associated with Kia was one he valued.

“Any sportsman strives for improvement in their own sphere, but they can also recognise the efforts and success of others, and Kia is obviously a company that has planned and prepared well for its own challenges,” Gill said.

“You don’t have to be an expert to recognise talent and potential. I see that in Kia and am very happy to be a part of that environment.”

Kia Motors ensures smooth transportation with fleet for UEFA EURO 2012™

May 31, 2012 / 1166 /

(SEOUL) May 17, 2012 – Kia Motors Corporation announced today that it will provide 359 passenger cars to ensure efficient and smooth transportation during UEFA EURO 2012™ in co-host countries, Poland and Ukraine, and to fulfill its requirement as a UEFA EUROTOP Partner and official automobile of UEFA EURO 2012™ (in conjunction with its sister company Hyundai Motor Company).

Kia is supplying numerous design-acclaimed models as official tournament vehicles, such as the all-new cee’d, Rio and Sportage, which are among the top selling models in Europe. Kia will also add its D-segment sedans, Cadenza and Optima Hybrid, which have not yet been introduced to European customers.

UEFA EURO 2012™ is scheduled to kick off on June 8tin Warsaw, Poland, with the champion to be crowned on July 1 in Kiev, Ukraine. The matches will take place in a total of eight cities in Poland (Warsaw, Wroclaw, Poznan, Gdansk) and Ukraine (Kiev, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Lviv). UEFA EURO 2012™ is considered the biggest and most prestigious event among Kia’s UEFA sponsored competitions.

“With only five weeks to go before the tournament begins, the vehicle handover is an essential part of the preparation for UEFA EURO 2012,” said UEFA Marketing Director Guy-Laurent Epstein at the ceremony. “Recognized as a leading global maker of stylish, reliable and comfortable vehicles, Kia will provide EURO officials, VIPs and others with safe, convenient transportation.”

Benny Oeyen, Marketing Vice-President of Kia Motors Europe, delightedly expressed, “Kia Motors is a proud supporter of football and we are excited to play an integral role in the successful coordination of EURO 2012. We believe that connecting with the world through its most watched sport will not only raise the profile of the Kia brand, but also demonstrate Kia’s unique identity and attributes.”

Furthermore, in order to ensure smooth operation, a ‘Kia Roadside Assistance Team’ will be available 24-hours a day from June 2 to July 4. The team will provide various emergency services to ensure the safety and convenience of drivers and passengers of official cars.

Kia Motors has taken an active role in supporting EURO 2012 from the initial stages of the tournament

In addition to its close partnership with UEFA, Kia Motors is also a FIFA Partner, in conjunction with Hyundai Motor, and will sponsor the 2014, 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups. On a local level, Kia Motors has partnered withseveral premier professional European football clubs including FC Bordeaux of France and Moscow Spartak FC.

Kia maintains record pace

May 11, 2012 / 1160 /

Kia’s bold projection of strong annual double-digit growth is right on track with the year-to-date growth hitting 22.7 per cent in a market that saw a softening of sales in April, according to new car sales figures released by the Federal Chamber Of Automotive Industries today.

Monthly sales were up 24.4 per cent over April last year and those figures are supported across the Kia range with SUV sales up by an impressive 30.4 per cent and passenger sales increased by 23.8 per cent in a market that was down by 2.5 per cent compared to April 2011.

Leading the charge in the passenger segment is the stunning Kia Optima up a massive 190.7 per cent jump compared to April 2011. The Optima’s slice of market share in the ‘Medium under $60,000’ segment also increased significantly jumping from 1.2 per cent to 3.5 per cent.

“This is a very rewarding result for Kia,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow.

“Our continuing strong sales in what was a very soft month signifies Kia is right on track, no matter what, to reach its aggressive sales growth target in 2012. Once again, one of the most pleasing aspects of the month was that sales remained strong across the model range.

”With several of those models, such as Sorento and Cerato, late in their model cycles it is a good indication that buyers are looking past badge snobbery and purchasing on quality and value.”

Kia’s SUV figures were lifted by a very strong sales month for Sorento with the Large SUV jumping 71.3 per cent when compared to the same month last year.

Kia Motors Australia is re-launching the Sorento later in the year with a significant facelift.

Ball hunt ends in Rio for Tennis Fan

April 20, 2012 / 1285 /

A Western Sydney resident who entered a Kia Ball Hunt competition has driven away in a brand new “Reborn Rio”.

Christine Greensitt from Penrith entered the competition during the Australian Tennis Open earlier in the year, not thinking anything would come of it.

The competition offered three methods of entry, either through an online Facebook Game, a Facebook single entry form or by downloading an app and capturing little symbols or glyphs during the Kia Australian Open Tennis Championships.

The glyphs were scattered throughout Australia, incorporated into all of Kia’s Australian Open advertising. They were also found at Kia dealerships, on the television during the Channel Seven telecast and at the event itself.

Mother of three and soon to be mother of four, Mrs Greensitt, registered a total of 15 glyphs throughout the Open and was recently announced the winner.

Her prize was an all-new reborn Kia Rio 5-door hatch Si in Silver.

“I played the online Facebook game and thought we had no hope of winning the prize,” Mrs Greensitt said. “I initially missed the call from Kia so when I called back I almost fell off my chair.”

The Greensitt’s new Kia Rio 5-door hatch was launched in September 2011.  The 3 and 4-door variants were added to the range in February this year.

The 5-door Si Hatch comes standard with a long list of features particularly safety. A total of six SRS airbags offer maximum protection to occupants in the event of an accident, while ABS, vehicle stability management with hill-start assist help prevent accidents from occurring.

The new Rio is powered by Kia’s latest 1.6 litre GDi petrol engine, which in the Greensitt’s case is matched to a very compact and efficient 6-speed automatic transmission.

An MP3 compatible CD player with iPod connectivity, Bluetooth and steering wheel mounted remote control, also provides hours of entertainment for those long family trips.

Kia sales on target

April 20, 2012 / 1483 /

Kia’s steady climb up the Australian new car ladder continued unabated with a record March sale of 2738 units.

The stellar month, up 26.5 per cent over the same month in 2011, lifts Kia into the Top 10 new car sales list for March and for the first quarter with 7004 sales, a solid 22.1 per cent improvement over the same period last year.

“It is a very pleasing result for us and shows clearly that we are well on track to make good on our target of being Australia’s fastest-growing mainstream new car importer or manufacturer,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow, said.

“What is particularly satisfying is the spread of sales improvements across almost our entire model range. Cerato is showing strong growth _ something that the newly released limited edition Extra can only help, while the new award-winning Rio is also gaining good traction in a very competitive segment.

“The SUV segment is still strong with Sportage and Sorento sales continuing to grow and the growth in demand for the stylish Optima _ aided by the duel bonus of better supply and the super value of the Si model _ has been incredible with a breathtaking 244.6 per cent growth over March last year.”

Following the introduction the 3- and 4-door Rio to join the COTY winning 5-door, Rio sales for the month hit 751 for a first quarter total of 1966.

“That made Rio our best-selling model, but we are not the ‘Rio car company’ anymore,” Mr Barlow said. “With 601 Ceratos, 341 Sorentos, 339 Sportages, 193 Optimas and 338 Carnivals it is a very healthy outlook.”

Kia’s perpetual hero, the Grand Carnival, again dominated the people mover market with a 38.9 per cent share _ a whopping 23.4 per cent ahead of its nearest challenger.

It’s a Carnival on Sesame Street for Elmo’s World Tour

April 5, 2012 / 1302 /

Two Kia Grand Carnivals are transporting Sesame Street Superstar Elmo and his celebrity friends throughout Australia during a national tour.

Sesame Street’s Elmo’s World Tour will see Elmo and his close friends Big Bird, Abby Cadabby, Grover, Zoe, Cookie Monster, the Count and Bert and Ernie perform 65 shows to children in 55 towns throughout Australia.

The all-singing, all-dancing live stage show uses the letters of the alphabet to voyage through imagination and sees the gang visit far off destinations like China, India, Zambia and France.

To help the crew travel the 10,000 plus kilometres over the three month season, Kia Motors Australia has provided two of Australia’s most popular people movers, the Grand Carnival

“First we helped Dora to go exploring, then we helped Ben 10 cart his time machine throughout Australia and this year we are excited to help Elmo and a group of his high profile friends take part in a world tour,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow.

“The shows are full of light, colour and sound and allow children to see their Sesame Street idols up close and personal. In such an electronic entertainment age, we are happy assist in bringing live theatre to young kids.”

Elmo’s Kia Carnivals come standard with a long list of features including driver and front passenger, front side and curtain airbags to help keep his passengers safe in the event of an accident. An MP3 compatible CD player with iPod connectivity and steering wheel mounted controls will allow the crew to remain alert and entertained during those long trips between towns.

The Grand Carnival dominates the people mover segment of the Australian new car market with more than one-in-three of new people movers sold in Australia wearing the Kia badge and has been votedcarsales.com.au People’s Choice Award as Australia’s most popular people move for the past four years.

Meet the Kia Extra

April 5, 2012 / 1353 /

For the discerning small car buyer who wants that little extra bang for their buck, Kia has come to the party with the Limited Edition Cerato eXtra.

Slipping in between the Si and SLi trims in both sedan and 5-door hatch body styles, the strictly limited eXtra benefits from the extensive Si standard range of equipment _ including Bluetooth, tilt and telescopic steering adjustment, cruise control, remote audio controls, folding exterior mirrors and Kia’s lauded local ride and handling _ then adds 17-inch alloys with full-size alloy spare (previously 15-inch steel), front fog lamps, rear parking sensors, leather wrapped steering wheel and chrome-tipped exhausts.

Available in five exterior colours _ Clear White, Ebony Black, Bright Silver, Titanium Silver and Racing Red (hatch only) _ the new eXtra adds a touch of additional premium style and sparkle at a value cost.

The Cerato eXtra 6-speed manual is priced at $21,490 while the 6-speed automatic is $23,490. That represents a premium of just $1250 over the comparative Si model hatch and $1500 for the sedan.

The Cerato eXtra limited edition is on sale at dealerships now.

Once was lost, but now am found

April 5, 2012 / 1380 /

As Kia navigates towards its target of becoming the fastest growing mainstream brand in Australia, Sportage, Sorento and Optima buyers will have no trouble finding their way around with the arrival of Kia Motors Australia’s first satellite navigation system.

The sophisticated LG touch-screen system has been developed and customised over the past 12 months to provide optimum performance for Australian users. It will come standard in Platinum grade vehicles in the three models, and is available as an option in SLi Sorento and Sportage.

“We have promised Australian buyers the best in design, engineering and technology and this exciting new step is again proof that we make good on our promises,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow, said.

“With the support of head office in Korea we can now deliver better supply of the cars Australian buyers are demanding, and with some exceptional new technology.”

The LG head unit features a 6.5-inch full-colour touch screen in the Sorento and a 7-inch version in both Sportage and Optima.

Mapping is from Navteq and the system will feature the outstanding SUNA live traffic notification software which will not only identify any traffic delays on the entered route but also offer the option of directing the driver around the traffic jam, accident or roadworks before putting them back on track to their destination.

“The SUNA live traffic system gives a new relevance to satellite navigation for daily commuters who will obviously know their way to and from their regular destinations but now have the added peace of mind that there will be no unexpected surprises on the way,” Mr Barlow said.

For the first time from any manufacturer in Australia Kia will also offer a service, branded Mapcare, which delivers a free map update at the 12- and 24-month anniversary of purchase. This will ensure that Kia owners are always on the pace in fast-changing urban environments.

The system will also feature full integration with MP3 music streaming, Bluetooth phone connection including the ability to retain phonebooks for up to eight separate users and large-screen format display of the reversing camera.

For the Platinum models the inclusion of the satellite navigation unit brings a $990 price premium taking the Sportage to $37,710 for the petrol and $40,710 for the award winning 2.0R diesel. Sorento will be $50,180 while Optima remains sensational value at $37,980. The SLi option in Sorento and Sportage is $1500.

Sorento and Sportage satellite navigation will be in showrooms from March 17 while Optima is expected to be available from mid-year.

Kia claims two more red dot design awards

April 5, 2012 / 1285 /

Kia has been awarded two top honours for its Picanto and Rio models in the 2012 red dot design competition.

The five-door versions of Kia’s striking A-segment Picanto and B-segment Rio were both winners in red dot’s internationally-acclaimed ‘Product Design’ category, in a competition that saw more than 4,500 products entered by 1,800 manufacturers from 58 countries across a variety of product sectors.

Judging was carried out by an international jury of highly respected design experts, who scrutinized and tested the products in detail, with winners selected on the basis of their level of innovation, functionality, ergonomics, durability, ecological compatibility and intuitive handling.  Only products featuring the highest standards of design are eligible for the coveted red dot.

These two latest wins bring Kia’s red dot total to six, with the Soul crossover winning in 2009, Venga compact MPV in 2010, and both Sportage compact SUV and Optima sedan claiming top spots in 2011.  Optima was also named ‘best of the best’ in 2011 – the red dot competition’s highest accolade for groundbreaking design, for which only the best products in each category are eligible.

“We are very proud of the red dot awards for the Picanto and the Rio,” comments Kia’s Chief Officer Peter Schreyer.

“They are a great tribute to our entire global design team, because all three Kia design centers were involved in the development of both vehicles – and the results are absolutely harmonious models with a strong presence. I am particularly happy about this thoroughly creative and successful collaboration between our teams in Korea, Europe and America.”

Thomas Oh, Kia Senior Executive Vice President and COO, added, “As global buyers increasingly switch to smaller cars, design is becoming an ever more important factor in the A- and B-segments.  Rio and Picanto are key volume models for us and are already in great demand around the world.

“These coveted red dot awards are another endorsement of Kia’s commitment to high quality and striking design combined with minimal environmental impact and excellent value for money in its products.  Our impressive sales growth across the globe, at a time when the wider automotive industry is experiencing a drop in sales, is testament to this strategy and its successful implementation.”

The wins closely follow a number of other awards for Rio and Picanto, including Rio being named best in the ‘Exterieur’ class at the Automotive Brand Contest in 2011, and Picanto three-door honoured with an iF product design award 2012 – the fourth Kia model to receive this award.

The red dot product design awards are one of the world’s major design contests and have been held by the Design Centre of North Rhine-Westphalia since 1955.  The 2012 awards will be presented to winners at a gala event at the Alvar Aalto-designed opera house in Essen, Germany, on July 2 2012.

World premiere for all-new Kia cee’d at Geneva

April 5, 2012 / 1325 /

The all-new Kia cee’d made its world premiere yesterday (Tuesday, March 6) at the 82nd Salon International de l’Autoin Geneva.  Joining the Kia cee’d in Switzerland, the Ray EV (electric vehicle) and the Track’ster concept make their first appearance before a European audience.

“The three Kia premieres taking place at Geneva cover a broad spread of automotive segments and highlight the diversity of our present and future product line-up,” commented Thomas Oh, Senior Executive Vice President and COO, Kia Motors Corporation.

“The original cee’d was a major landmark car for Kia in Europe, enabling us to compete in the hotly contested C-segment for the first time.  The second-generation model is, once again, a game-changing car with enhanced design, quality and powertrains.  Our pursuit of clean power technologies is also represented by the Kia Ray EV.  Finally, Kia is showing its fun side with the Track’ster concept – a high performance variant of the hugely successful Soul.”

Designed, engineered and manufactured in Europe, exclusively for the European market, the new cee’d hatchback is more sophisticated, more efficient, more refined and delivers a more engaging driving experience than its predecessor.  The new cee’d will build on the success of the original model, further establishing Kia as one of the leading automotive brands in Europe.

Longer, lower and sleeker than the original model, the 4.3-metre long new cee’d hatchback has a streamlined silhouette shaped by extensive testing in Kia’s state-of-the-art wind tunnel at Namyang, in Korea.  Higher quality cabin materials and a broader range of high-tech equipment will ensure the interior of new cee’d matches the premium exterior appearance and competes with best-in-class rivals across Europe.

Across most of Western Europe, the new cee’d will be available with two gasoline (1.4 MPI, 1.6 GDI) and two diesel (1.4 WGT,1.6 VGT) engines offering power outputs from 66 to 99kW.

The highlight of the gasoline line-up is a 1.6-litre Gamma GDI engine, which was named one of ‘Ward’s 10 Best Engines’ from WardsAuto World in 2011.  Newly introduced to European customers in the all-new cee’d, the 1.6 GDI features the latest gasoline direct injection technology to maximize power (99kW) and torque (165 Nm) outputs.

Coupled with the 1.6 GDI is an all-new Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) developed in-house.  Utilizing two separate transmissions contained within one housing, the DCT delivers smooth gear shifts for maximum driving comfort, lowers fuel consumption and reduces CO2 emissions compared with the previous conventional automatic transmission.

The 1.6-litre VGT turbo diesel engine delivers a peak output of 94kW and maximum torque of 260 Nm.  New cee’d models incorporating Kia’s EcoDynamics technologies, including ISG (Start/Stop), low-rolling resistance tires and an alternator management system (AMS), with this diesel engine achieve impressive fuel consumption of 3.7 l/100 km and CO2 emissions from just 97 g/km.

Thanks to continued efforts to reduce fuel consumption and emissions without sacrificing engine response or power output, Kia’s updated engines in the new cee’d range have achieved an average 4 percent improvement in fuel consumption across the range.

A well kept secret pre-show, the wagon version of all-new cee’d was revealed by Kia’s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, during today’s Kia press conference.  Full details of this important model will be confirmed closer to its European on-sale date, later this year.

Unveiled in December 2011 and now on sale in Korea, the Kia Ray EV is a zero-emissions city car with a range of up to 139 km (86 miles) on a single charge – which takes as little as 25 minutes using a fast charge system.  The 3.6-metre long, front-wheel drive Ray EV is powered by a 50kW electric motor and a high-capacity 16.4 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack.

Though developed exclusively for the Korean market, the Ray EV showcases Kia’s technical expertise in developing a battery electric vehicle and highlights its commitment to provide a comprehensive technical solution to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

First shown at this year’s Chicago Auto Show and now making its European debut, the tough looking Track’ster concept is based on the Kia Soul, but with even more attitude.  It is designed to be a bold interpretation that challenges people’s conceptions of what a sporty Kia could be.

Kia‘s Track’ster features a 2.0-litre turbocharged gasoline engine producing 186 kW – transmitting that power to all wheels via an electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system.  A short-throw six-speed manual transmission is engaged via a stubby spherical shift lever.  Lowered sport-suspension, enlarged brakes and wheels that have been honed for maximum performance give the Track‘ster impressive handling.

Also on display at Geneva is Kia’s new IVI (in-vehicle infotainment) concept, first shown at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show in January, which offers a glimpse into the future of feature-rich information and entertainment systems.

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