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Kia year to date sales up 19 percent in February

March 9, 2012 / 956 /

National retail vehicle sales for Kia Motors Australia have increased by 19.4% compared to the same period last year and are up by 14.2% compared to February 2011 according to VFACTS figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries today.

The figures are supported across the Kia range with its passenger and SUV segments up 15.2% and 15.3% respectively.

Leading the charge in the passenger segment is the all-new Kia Rio up 68.9% compared to February 2011. The award winning 5-door hatch was joined by its 3 & 4-door siblings which were launched during February with early indications proving very positive.

“We have very successfully launched the 3 and 4 door Kia Rio models,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow.

“Off the back of Car of the Year Award for 5 door Rio – the press reports and public response to these new models has been fantastic.

“At $15,990 drive away the 3 door Rio is the talk of the town due to its value for money, design, safety features, plus its ride and handling qualities.  Rio 4 Door is also gaining a lot of attention for similar reasons with many fleet customers.”

Another highlight within the passenger range was Optima showing an increase of 21.3% when compared to February 2011.

SUV figures were buoyed by a very strong Sportage month with the Compact SUV jumping 63.8% when compared to the same month last year.

Inspired husband wins wife a new Kia Sportage

March 9, 2012 / 1321 /

A Brisbane man has won a top of the range Kia Sportage for his wife and an iPad2 for himself by entering a Facebook-based Kia competition.

Andrew Churchward from Kenmore Hills noticed the Facebook-based “Kia, Inspired by what you like” competition late last year, which encouraged people to be generous to those they like.

In less than 25 words Mr Churchward compared the attributes of his loving wife of 12 years, Elissa, to those of a Kia vehicle and was awarded the iPad2 and his favourite car in the Kia range for his effort.

“Of all the cars in the world would you believe I love the Kia Sportage,” said Mr Churchward. “I bought an Optima brand new six years ago and it hasn’t missed a beat. We’ve been extremely happy with it.

“I have been looking at all of the new Kia models coming out and as soon as I saw the Sportage I wanted one. We are now the proud owners of a brand new top of the range Platinum petrol Sportage in Electric Yellow and I couldn’t be happier.”

Mrs Churchward recently received her new Sportage and was extremely appreciative of her husband’s penmanship.

“I’m normally one of those people who doesn’t like surprises but this was an exception,” Mrs Churchward said.

“The Sportage is a joy to drive and is so well equipped. The ventilated front seat is something you would expect in a high-priced European vehicle.”

The Churchward’s Platinum Sportage is powered by a 2.4L petrol engine which is matched to one of the lightest, high tech 6-speed automatic transmissions in its class which also offers the driver sportsmatic-style shifting.

Like all new vehicles across the Kia range there is no compromise when it comes to safety. The Platinum comes standard with the latest in computer assisted braking technologies as well as electronic stability control, downhill brake control and hill-start assist to prevent the car from rolling back when starting on a steep slope.

Passengers are surrounded by front, side and curtain airbags offering five-star protection in the case of an accident while reversing blind spots are minimised by a rear camera with the image displayed within the rear view mirror.

The Platinum’s feature list is extensive with cruise control, rain sensing wipers and dusk sensing headlamps allowing for hassle free motoring and a smart key with push button start adding to the vehicle’s high tech appeal.

The audio system comes with six speakers and an external amp and subwoofer as well as Bluetooth functionality and iPod connectivity. All of this, as well as the MP3 compatible 6-stack CD changer can be controlled remotely from the steering wheel.

Cabin comfort is maintained by dual-zone climate control with the Platinum also featuring front seat warmers and a ventilated driver’s seat.

Kia reveals all-new ‘K9’ flagship sedan for Korean market

March 9, 2012 / 1146 /

(SEOUL) February 28, 2012 – Kia today revealed the first official photographs of its all-new flagship sedan to be launched during the first half of this year in the Korean market. Referred to by its codename ‘KH’ until now, the company also confirmed that the Korean market name will be ‘K9’ – while the name for export markets, as well as overseas launch timings, will be revealed later this year.

K9 is Kia’s first rear-wheel drive sedan.  It boasts Kia’s ‘best of the best’ design, driving performance and high technology capabilities and is regarded as one of 2012’s most eagerly anticipated all-new models in both Korean and overseas markets.

This model’s Korean market name, K9, will complete Kia’s domestic market ‘K’ series range of passenger cars, whose members also include the front-wheel drive K5 (Optima in overseas markets) and K7 (Cadenza in overseas markets) sedans.

The letter ‘K’ represents not only Kia and the company’s home country of Korea, but also refers to the Greek word ‘Kratos’ (meaning powerful, domination and reign) and the English word ‘Kinetic’ (meaning active, dynamic).

The ‘K’ series trio of sedans is a strong statement of Kia’s determination to offer consumers the broadest product line-up and establish itself as a major presence in the global automotive industry through ceaseless innovation and technological developments.

The K9’s exterior gives solid form to the recently released sketches of the new model, and presents its design concept, ‘high-tech luxury sedan’ image, with futuristic, sophisticated and distinctive charisma.

K9 is the latest continuation of Kia’s evolving design DNA, carrying its family-look radiator grille, bold ‘high-tech luxury car’ style LED headlamps, with classic design echoes in its voluminous hood.  Viewed from the front, K9 presents an imposing image.

Furthermore, the sophisticated and bold profile with its simple but strong character line and the innovative and stable rear view with its high-tech LED combination lamps, luxurious chrome garnish and bumper-integrated muffler, completes the parameters for whole new level of luxury car design.

Soon-Nam Lee, Director of the Overseas Marketing Group, said, “K9 is our first rear-wheel drive large sedan, created without compromise in its design, driving performance and new technologies.  K9 sets a whole new level of standards and values in the large sedan segment, and its design will be another Kia demonstration of our brand’s power to surprise the world.”

Kia cee’d – The second generation is ready to go

February 23, 2012 / 1123 /

SEOUL) February 16, 2012Combining dynamic, sophisticated styling with maturity and prestige, the all-new cee’d five-door hatchback makes its world debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show on March 6.

The new cee’d is longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, with the same long wheelbase. The elegant simplicity of its coupe-like proportions is emphasised by a steeply raked A-pillar, a very low belt-line in the front and lengthened side windows.

The front of the new cee’d is dominated by the latest interpretation of Kia’s trademark ‘tiger-nose’ grille and aggressive, wraparound headlamp clusters housing signature LED daytime running lights.

In profile, pronounced front and rear wings emphasise the car’s wide track and solid stance.  Above taut, strongly sculpted door surfaces, the steeply raked A-pillar, sweeping roofline and integral rear spoiler accentuate the sporting aesthetics of the new model’s generous glasshouse.

Throughout, the exterior is accented by numerous small yet highly significant detail touches which add to the prestige and premium feel of the new cee’d without detracting from the purity and elegance of the overall design.

These include a new, bolder, more sophisticated Kia badge, the indicator blade protrusion in the front headlamps, the Kia-signature windscreen head castellations, the chrome side glazing surround and the cee’d-unique, aerodynamic shaping of the tail lamp which extends into the adjacent bodywork.

The new cee’d features a completely new interior hallmarked by a more premium look and feel, higher perceived quality, improved switchgear, touch-screen technology and enhanced driving position ergonomics.

The dashboard layout features a cockpit-like design with an aircraft-themed, driver-oriented fascia.  The main control panel wraps around the steering wheel, placing all switchgear within easy reach of the driver, and the main control groups such as audio and air-conditioning have been segregated to bring a more premium, luxurious, big car feel to the interior.

Carefully considered precision detailing gives the cabin a more prestigious look and feel than that of the current generation model.  Soft touch materials add a new tactility to the driving environment.  Instruments and switchgear are picked out in very thin chrome, the door handles are built up in a layered sandwich of high quality materials and the door opener itself has a sculpted, one-piece, shell-like quality reflecting the premium values of the new interior design.

Church Pastor benefits from Kia Australian Open competition

February 20, 2012 / 1280 /

The winner of an all-new Kia Rio has donated his prize to his local church pastor after his name was drawn from the barrel in the recent “Win a Reborn Rio” competition at this year’s Kia Australian Open tennis championship.Kia Rio

Canberra based Glenn Warburton entered the competition thinking he had little to no chance of winning. However, when he received the call he was told he had not only won a brand new Kia Rio, but also a trip to Melbourne to watch the men’s and women’s finals, he was overawed.

“I never win anything,” Mr Warburton said. “So when I received the phone call I was in shock. Once I hung up and discussed it with my wife we knew exactly what we were going to do with the car.”

Two days prior to winning the Kia Rio, Mr Warburton visited his local church associate pastor Scott Wilmot, to find he had recently been given the unfortunate news that his family car was going to cost more to repair than it was to replace. Mr Warburton remembers wishing there was something he could do.

Two days later he rang Pastor Wilmot with the good news. After several phone calls and much convincing, Mr Warburton finally persuaded the minister to accept the Kia Rio gift.

“My wife and I just bought a new BMW X3 late last year,” said Mr Warburton. “But when I sat in the new Kia Rio I was very surprised. The prize vehicle is a top of the range SLi 5-door, not only is it comfortable, it looks impressive and comes with every gadget conceivable.”

The Kia Rio 5-door SLi comes standard with one of longest lists of passenger comforts in the light passenger vehicle segment. Cruise control, Bluetooth, iPod connectivity and a six speaker surround sound system which is all controlled remotely through the steering wheel adds to the driving experience. Daytime running lights and 17inch alloy wheels make the Rio look as good as it handles, thanks also to major input from the Australian ride and handling team.

To keep the new Pastor and his family safe, six front, side and curtain airbags, HAC (hillstart assist control), ESC (electronic stability control), ABS anti-lock brakes, EBF (electronic brake force distribution) and EBA (emergency ‘brake assist’) systems are fitted to the SLi and also come standard across the entire Rio range.

While Pastor Wilmot received the new Kia Rio Mr and Mrs Warburton travelled to Melbourne to watch the men’s and women’s finals and apparently didn’t leave their seats once during the epic six hour battle between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

“The whole experience of being able to provide our new associate pastor with such a fantastic and much needed car, and being able to attend the finals of the Kia Australian Open, was a real personal highlight,” Mr Warburton said.

Kia aims for double-figure growth Kia aims for double-figure growth

February 20, 2012 / 1237 /

Kia was one of the few car manufacturers who bucked the downward trend in 2011, increasing sales by 5.4 per cent to top the 25,000 mark for the first time.

But incoming president and chief executive Chongwoo (Charlie) Kim believes the Korean car maker is still a long way short of reaching its full potential in Australia.

Mr Kim, who has spent the past two years working as the co-ordinating director for sales at Kia Motors Australia, believes it can be the fastest-growing brand in the country. And to achieve this he has set the ambitious target of double-figure growth every year under his leadership.

While it may seem unrealistic, especially in a market where sales are expected to level off at around one million a year, Mr Kim said a combination of new models and better supply would enable the target to be reached.

Last year, due to the demand of key models in European markets, Kia Australia was unable to meet demand for many models.

The company will also launch four new models over the next 12 months with the Kia Rio three-door the first of those. Its Australian launchis next week.

Mr Kim said the arrival of the three-door model would further broaden the appeal of its small car that won one of the country’s major Car of the Year awards last year.

It will be followed by a new-generation Cerato and a sportier Cerato Koup, but Mr Kim was keeping the identity of the other new models closer to his chest.

Mr Kim, 48, studied mechanical engineering before joining the Hyundai/Kia Corporation in 1989.

He replaces MK Kim, who has moved to Dubai to take up the position of president and chief executive with Kia’s Middle East and African operations.Source: The West Australian

Korean car makes history

January 31, 2012 / 1419 /

Kia’s small cars are running red hot, with the all-new Rio winning top awards around the world, plus, it has also gained the prestigious five-star EuroNCAP safety rating. The Rio’s success follows on the back of Kia’s smallest model the Picanto which has received multiple awards since it was launched in July 2011.

The all-new Rio has been voted Continental Car of the Year in Ireland and Best Light Car under Aus$20,000 in Australia’s annual Best Car awards. The two awards come on the back of news that the latest Rio has gained the maximum five-star for accident safety from leading European road safety organisation, EuroNCAP.

The redesigned five door hatchback achieved high scores for Adult Occupant Protection , Child Occupant Protection and Safety Assist Equipment, and Kia also received praise from the testers for fitment of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard.

Safety was one of the considerations of the Irish Motoring Writers’ Association in awarding the Kia Rio the Continental Irish Car of the Year for 2012. The Rio beat off competition from the Ford Focus and the Peugeot 508 to take the prize, marking the first time that a Korean car brand has taken the title in the 35-year history of the awards.

The award was based on a wide range of criteria voted on by the Irish Motoring Writers Association judges, ranging from innovation and safety to space, comfort, build quality, driving quality and value for money. Judges said the Rio’s victory is a measure of the progress which Korean manufacturers have made in a very short time. Judges of the Australian Best Car awards were similarly impressed, saying: “The Kia Rio delivers well beyond its price point and small car origins. “The feeling of quality, fit and finish is evident even over nasty, uneven road surfaces where you would expect a small car to develop any number of rattles and squeaks. There are none in the Kia.”

The judges also praised all new Kia Rio’s on-road performance, pointing out that it equalled or bettered all comers for performance, ride, handling and braking. The all new Kia Rio five door hatchback has now arrived in Fiji, whilst the sedan version is due to arrive at the Kia Motors Fiji Showroom soon, located at the corner of Grantham Road and Carpenter Street, Garden City, Raiwai Suva.


Kia Motors 2011 earnings up 30.4 per cent

January 31, 2012 / 1295 /

South Korea’s second largest automaker, Kia Motors, said Friday it posted a record profit last year thanks to brisk overseas sales and increased returns in investment in affiliated firms.

Net profit surged 30.4 per cent from the previous year to 3.5 trillion won ($US3.1 billion ($A2.93 billion)) in 2011, the company said in a statement.

Sales jumped 20.6 per cent on-year to 43.2 trillion won in 2011, with operating profit up 41.6 per cent to 3.5 trillion won.

It sold 2.48 million cars last year, up 18.6 per cent, thanks to solid sales of new models and the company’s improved brand image, the automaker said.

Overseas sales were particularly brisk despite the eurozone crisis and the global economic slowdown, it said.

Sales in the United States surged 36.3 per cent to 485,000 cars last year while domestic sales crept up a mere 1.7 per cent to 492,000.

Sales in China surged 29.9 per cent to 433,000, while those in the European market increased 12.2 per cent to 290,000. Sales in other regions rose 18.4 per cent to 778,000.


Kia’s little Ray of EV sunshine

January 20, 2012 / 1394 /

Korean brand electrifies city runabout – for domestic market only.

Kia has unveiled its first electric vehicle this week, the Ray EV city runabout – but don’t expect to see it on Australia’s roads.

Built exclusively for Korea’s domestic market, the front-wheel-drive Ray EV is technically similar to the BlueOn concept that parent company Hyundai previewed about 12 months ago.

Kia’s first global electric vehicle won’t arrive locally until at least 2014 in the form of a yet-to-be-seen, all-new compact SUV, which the company announced at September’s Frankfurt motor show.

The Ray EV is powered by a 50kW electric motor and 16.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack to deliver 167Nm of torque and a range of almost 140 kilometres from a single charge, Kia says.

Claimed to be “brisker than the gasoline models”, the Ray EV reaches 100km/h in a lazy 15.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 130km/h. At 1185 kilograms, it is also 187kg heavier than its 1.0-litre conventional-engined sibling.

The boxy mini-van features a flap in the front radiator grille that covers an electricity inlet for a six-hour “slow” charge at home or work. Another inlet replaces the fuel intake for 25-minute fast charges.

Currently there are 500 slow/fast recharge stations in South Korea, with the government planning to increase that figure to 3100 stations by the end of 2012, according to Kia.

Inside, the electrified Ray comes with the “first-ever EV-specific navigation system” that features a 7.0-inch multi-function screen to provide information such as the nearest recharging station. The satellite navigation system also displays a range radius in which the car can travel with its current level of battery power.

The Ray EV emits an audible sound to alert pedestrians nearby, similar to many otherwise-silent-running electric vehicles. Kia, however, has opted for familiarity by sounding a mix of recorded petrol-engine noises when travelling at speeds below 20km/h.

Conventional safety equipment comprises six airbags and stability control.

Kia says it plans to build 2500 examples of the Ray EV, to be used predominantly by government departments.

The Ray EV will be built from the same production line as regular combustion-engine models, which Kia claims is a first for a car maker.


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