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

April 5, 2012 / 1266 /

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 People’s Choice Award as Australia’s most popular people move for the past four years.

Kia and Essendon Bombers join forces

October 22, 2011 / 1722 /

Essendon Football Club is pleased to announce Kia Motors Australia as the club’s new co-major partner for the next five years.

Essendon Chairman David Evans said the new partnership is believed to be one of the largest co-major partnerships in AFL history as well as one of the largest individual sponsorships in Australian sport.

“We are genuinely excited by the alignment of two great teams – from both a commercial and brand perspective” Mr Evans said.

“Kia is committed to delivering a progressive and innovative product, and these attributes are parallel to our values at the Essendon Football Club.

“Essendon is as committed to achieving success off the field as it is on it and by partnering with a like-minded organisation such as Kia, we believe we can deliver mutually beneficial outcomes that will allow both brands to continue to grow their presence nationally.”

Kia Motors Australia President and CEO Mr MK Kim said the partnership would allow Kia to grow its reputation as a long-standing innovative brand.

“Like Essendon Football Club, Kia is a brand built around youthful excitement and the willingness to compete,” Mr Kim said.

“As Korea’s oldest automotive manufacturer we understand the value of history and we are excited about our new relationship with one of the longest-standing teams in Australian sport.”

The new alignment will see the Kia logo alternate between the front and back of the Essendon guernsey during home and away games. Co-major partner True Value Solar will be displayed on the alternate side of the guernsey.

In addition to brand exposure benefits, the partnership will also provide Kia with unique access to Essendon’s estimated supporter base of over one million fans nationally and almost 300,000 unique database contacts – the largest in Australian club sport.

Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Tony Barlow said Kia was delighted to add its support to an Australian institution that brings genuine excitement and joy into the lives of everyday Australians.

“Essendon and Kia are two organisations entering a very exciting period. Both are brands on the way up – just one of the synergies that we believe makes this relationship a perfect match,” Mr Barlow said.

“Australian Football, Aussie Rules or simply ‘footy’ to the millions of passionate fans who follow the games every winter weekend is part of the fabric of Australian culture.

“Within that fabric Essendon Football Club is a binding element traced back to the very beginnings of the sport. Kia’s association with Australia is not as long, but it is no less passionate nor any less committed.”

Kia Motors Australia support everyday Australians across a number of initiatives including donations and sponsorships of institutions such as the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Meals on Wheels, SIDS and Kids and the Kia Motorvation safe driving initiative.

Globally, Kia Motors are proud to support some of the world’s largest sporting organisations and events including the FIFA World Cup and the National Basketball Association. Locally many would recognise Kia Motors as the major partner of the Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam tournament.

Model Refresh for Australia’s Top People Mover – Kia’s Carnival

August 3, 2011 / 1345 /

Australia’s most popular people mover under $55,000, Kia Carnival, has just received an upgrade resulting in four long wheel base models, Bluetooth across the range and the introduction of the legendary “R-series” CRDi turbo diesel engine to the line up.

Most significant to the model refresh is the discontinuation of the short wheelbase Carnival S, replaced by a long wheelbase Grand Carnival S model. The Grand Carnival Si, SLi and Platinum remain.

“Carnival is a signature model in our range,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Tony Barlow. “It is a good value proposition, which is why one in three new people movers under $55,000 sold so far this year have been Kia Carnivals.

“The latest refresh has allowed us to add new technologies to the existing long list of features and maintain Grand Carnival’s position as a great value people mover”.

The most noteworthy change to the entry level Grand Carnival S is the replacement of the 2.7-litre petrol engine with the more powerful and more efficient 3.5-litre V6 DOHC powerplant with continuous variable valve timing.

Buyers of the Grand Carnival Si, SLi and Platinum models will have a choice of either the 3.5-litre petrol or Kia’s latest 4-cylinder, 2.2-litre CRDi R-series diesel engine. The R-series diesel offers improved power and greater efficiency than the 2.9-litre predecessor and is the driving force behind Kia’s Sorento and Sportage.

The 2.2-litre R-series diesel produces an impressive 143kW of power and a massive 429Nm of torque.  Torque is up 86Nm or 25%, while fuel consumption is down 3.7% compared to its predecessor.

The entire range has now received the transmission upgrade with both the petrol and diesel engines matched to Kia’s 6-speed automatic transmission. Compared to the 5-speed, the 6-speed automatic has 62 fewer parts, is 41mm shorter and 12kg lighter, making it one of the most compact and efficient 6-speed transmissions available.

New to the line up is the addition of Bluetooth functionality with remote audio controls located on the steering wheel. Buyers of the Si model and above will benefit from the standard fitment of roof rails, power third row windows, rear air conditioning controls, interior metal finish and heated outside mirrors. The Si model has also received sporty looking 16-inch alloy wheels.

Safety continues to be a priority across the eight-seater range with ABS and ESC with traction control standard throughout. Front, side and curtain airbags and side door impact beams also offer peace of mind for passengers in all four models.

First Half “Right on Target” Says Kia Motors Australia

August 3, 2011 / 1339 /

Kia Motors Australia has finished the first half of 2011 with healthy market share and positive sales growth in a market, which reported a 6.6% decrease in sales over the same period.

According to VFACTS results released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries today, the 12,836 new Kia vehicle sales for the first six months provided the company with 2.8% of total market share and a 3.3% increase in year to date sales.

In the passenger vehicle segment Kia held steady with a six month, 0.6% increase in a segment that experienced an 8.5% decline up to June 30.

Leading the charge for Kia was the Cerato with the all new hatch and sedan combining to produce a 65.6% increase in sales compared to the first six months of 2010.

Kia dominated ‘People Movers Under $55,000’ with Carnival representing 33% of the segment’s share while Rondo sales were up 22.1% for the year so far.

“We set a relatively ambitious business plan for 2011 and after the first six months everything is going according to plan,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Tony Barlow.

“We anticipate much of the same for the second half with the exception of a Rio run-out making way for an all new 5-door hatchback which is scheduled to be unveiled late in the third quarter.”

In the competitive SUV sector better supply and continued customer support of Kia’s compact soft-roader, Sportage, saw it finish the first half of 2011 up 26.3%. The year to date figure was bolstered by a healthy June, which was 60.9% better than the same month last year.

Sorento’s sales growth of 1.9% for the first half helped Kia return sales growth of 15.3% in the SUV category, which reported a 12.5% reduction.

Kia Motorvation drives Life Changing Learning

August 3, 2011 / 1677 /

Kia Motors Australia and internationally-lauded driver training organisation, Motorvation, have strengthened and expanded their co-operative determination to provide young Australian drivers with the best possible start to a safe driving experience.

Through Kia Young Drivers (KYDz) the program has been taken to select Victorian school students for the past two years, introducing learner-age and P-Plate drivers to a concept of a safe and sensible life behind the wheel.

This year through an increase in sponsorship support, an adoption of highly-sophisticated simulator teaching technology and a change of corporate name the young driver program will reach more than 4000 young drivers in Victoria and NSW under the Kia Motorvation banner.

The Mobile Training Centre will bring a pair of high-technology simulators _ complete with realistic hydraulic movement _ to a variety of centres and give the students “real world” experience through bespoke software scenarios.

“There is nothing more important than our children and their safety,” Kia Motors Australia President and CEO Mr M.K Kim said. “They are the future and to help best prepare them for a safe and rewarding time as motorists is something Kia Motors Australia is proud and pleased to be associated with.”

Through the support of the program’s sponsors the training is offered to schools at a below- cost rate to ensure the benefits are available to all education outlets that want to be involved.

“Motorvation is excited to be increasing our involvement with Kia Australia to improve safety outcomes for young drivers,” Kia Motorvation co-principal and chief instructor, Geoff Fickling, said. “It is wonderful to work with a company so committed to road safety, and making the program mobile increases our ability to reach more young people who could not otherwise access such world-class training.

“The Kia Motorvation Program is a life-changing, enjoyable, and essential one-day course for young drivers. It is suitable for pre-learners, learner drivers and P-Plate drivers – in fact, anyone aged between 16 and 25 years, the most risky time for any driver. It is not about learning how to drive nor how to become super skilled.”

During the course professional and entertaining presenters provide a combination of focussed discussion and hands-on driving, guiding young drivers to understand that driving is a function of two parts: their attitude or driving behaviour, and their action or skills and knowledge.

“Kia Motorvation does not seek to increase skills, but focuses mainly on achieving an awareness of thoughts about driving that are often unconscious, and using this new awareness to completely change driving behaviour, therefore removing dangerous behaviours or habits,” Mr Fickling said. “If you don’t understand how you think, you can’t change what you do.”

The course also provides tuition in how to avoid or deal with the ‘One-Percenters’ – emergency situations that can happen to even the most careful driver.

“Motorvate exists only to create safer drivers and reduce crash risk, and we welcome independent research of our training,” Mr Fickling said. “Extreme care is taken to avoid creating a false sense of overconfidence in young drivers during the hands-on driving component.

“In fact, the opposite is achieved for already over-confident drivers through a combination of teaching methodologies, evaluation, and experienced supervision.

“The Kia Motorvation program is not a defensive, advanced or learn-to-drive program. It is a unique system of understanding drivers’ attitude and action.”

Kia adds drive to support for Timor-Leste

August 3, 2011 / 1303 /

The donation of a second Kia Sorento to the Order of Malta has widened the palliative care and medical services network provided throughout East Timor (Timor-Leste) by the world’s oldest Catholic Charity.

Kia Motors Australia provided the Order with a diesel all-wheel drive Sorento earlier this year and last week added a second car to the program after reports on how successful the original assistance had been in extending medical help outside the towns.

“It is the perfect car for this purpose and this generous support from Kia will help the Order to reach many more people in need,” the Order of Malta’s first Ambassador to Timor-Leste, H.E. David Scarf, said.

“There are 13 districts in Timor-Leste accessed by a very poor road system, some taking six or seven hours to reach. Now, with the use of the car a trained palliative care nurse is able to visit many more patients, together with the nuns, and provide them with proper care and the necessary medication.”

Kia Motors Australia President and CEO, Mr MK Kim said the donation of a second car to the Order of Malta was simply and correct decision to take.

“The original car has quickly proven its worth in humanitarian terms,” Mr Kim said. “To be able to offer further support to the wonderful care being provided by the nurses and the counsellors is something Kia is pleased and proud to be able to do.”

Mr Kim said that while a significant portion of East Timor’s one million residents are still trying to rebuild after decades of hardship, it is through organisations such as the Order of Malta and their supporters that the future can be brightened.

The Order of Malta was established in 1048 when the Knights Hospitaller protected sick, poor and injured pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land. Today the organisation is still known for its mission “to service the poor and the suffering” by providing services and facilities to support the sick, elderly, the handicapped and those who are marginalised and homeless.

The Order now operates in more than 120 countries across five continents. Worldwide there are more than 12,500 members, 80,000 permanent volunteers and 20,000 medical personnel.

Kia Motors posts 18.7% global sales growth in May

August 3, 2011 / 1708 /

(SEOUL) June 9, 2011 — Kia Motors Corporation announced today its global sales figures for passenger cars (export sales, domestic sales and sales from overseas plants), recreational vehicles (RVs) and commercial vehicles for May 2011, recording a total of 207,839 units sold.  This figure represents a year-on-year increase of 18.7%.

In May, Kia posted strong year-on-year sales increases in all of its overseas regions – 48.4% in North America (55,140 units sold), 28.8% in China (33,624 units sold), 19.2% in Europe* (41,139 units sold), and 7.0% in general markets* (39,924 units sold), while sales in the home market of Korea declined by 5.0% (38,012 units sold).

Cumulatively, through the first five months of 2011, Kia’s global sales have increased by 20.4% year-on-year to reach 988,011 units. North America has experienced the highest gain to date in 2011 of 42.4% (226,078 units sold) while the remaining regions have all shown strong cumulative double digit year-on-year sales increases: 17.6% in China (169,691 units sold), 15.9% in general markets (202,389 units sold), 15.5% in Europe (183,708 units sold) and 12.2% in Korea (206,145 units sold).

Kia’s best selling model in overseas markets for the month of May was the C-segment Cerato (known as ‘Forte’ in some markets) with 38,204 units sold.

The Sportage compact CUV was the second best seller with 28,563 units delivered, while the Sorento mid-size CUV, B-segment Rio and Soul urban crossover vehicle followed with 18,459, 18,191 and 17,812 units sold, respectively.

Senior Executive Vice President & COO of Kia Motors Corporation, Thomas Oh, said, “Nearing the midway point of 2011, we are encouraged to see that customers’ continued changing perceptions about the quality, styling, performance and value of Kia products in positive directions has resulted in sales growth outpacing our initial annual forecasts. We look forward to maintaining strong momentum in all of our strategic markets in the coming months, buoyed by the arrival of the next generation versions of our popular Picanto A-segment and Rio B-segment vehicles in Kia showrooms around the world.”

Kia Motors’ Advertising Campaign Featuring Music-Loving Hamsters

August 3, 2011 / 1628 /

Kia Motors’ rapping and dancing hamsters earned the company one of the most prestigious advertising awards this week when the “This or That” campaign for the brand’s funky Soul urban passenger vehicle received the Gold Effie award in the “David v. Goliath” category at the 2011 North American Effie Awards ceremony in New York.

The annual Effie Awards (short for effective) presented by Effie Worldwide, Inc., highlights the most effective marketing communications efforts in the US each year, and the “David v. Goliath” category recognizes smaller, new or emerging brands that challenge category leaders.

The Kia Soul marketing initiative earned the Gold Effie after taking home a Silver Effie in 2010.

Together, the Soul’s popular “This or That” and the original “A New Way To Roll” campaigns contributed to significant increases in consumer awareness, perception and consideration of the Kia brand, and led to record sales of the urban passenger vehicle. In March, the Soul became the second Kia vehicle to sell more than 10,000 units in a single month, and after recording its best-ever monthly sales in May the Soul’s year-to-date sales are up 50.8 percent.

“The segment-busting Soul was the first vehicle introduced under Kia’s design-led transformation and was conceived to stand out in a sea of sameness with its refreshing design, outstanding functionality, variety of personalization options and tremendous value,” said Michael Sprague, Vice-President, marketing & communications, KMA. “The “This or That‟ campaign embodied the spirit of the Soul in a highly engaging way that really resonated with consumers and marketers alike – as evidenced by our second consecutive Effie award.”

In addition to the back-to-back Effie awards, the Soul spots have been named “Automotive Ad of the Year” for two consecutive years by The Nielsen Company.

Optima cleans up in ECOcar awards

August 3, 2011 / 1514 /

Kia’s stunning Optima sedan has shown it is much more than just a pretty face by taking home the ECOcar Magazine Car Of The Year award.

ECOcar Editor Chris Mullett said the Optima was the most impressive car he had driven in the past 12 months.

“It is not only a wonderful looking vehicle, nor just an enormously enjoyable drive experience.  The Optima also ticks all the boxes as a responsible, economic car for a modern family, and at exceptional value,” Mullett said following the announcement of the award at a ceremony in Melbourne.

Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow, said the recognition from ECOcar was particularly pleasing because of the breadth of characteristics that the COTY award recognised.

“We have been told on many occasions how stylish and attractive the Optima is,” Mr Barlow said.  “We have also been told by pundits in the media that the Optima is a very enjoyable drive and that it represents outstanding value.

“Now, with the ECOcar COTY award, we tick another box with recognition that the Optima is also an environmentally responsible car.”

ECOcar Magazine is published quarterly by the Motoring Matters organisation.  It is the only car magazine available in Qantas Club lounges across Australia, opening it up to a potential 12 million travellers a year.

“One of the odd little facts we have discovered since putting ECOcar in Qantas Clubs is that it is the most ‘borrowed’ magazine in the bookcase, to such an extent that we had to quadruple the number we supply,” Mullet said.

The 2.4-litre GDi Optima sedan comes in a single Platinum specification at $36,990.  The only optional extra is metallic paint at $450.

Kia blasts off in SPACE race

August 3, 2011 / 1320 /

Kia Motors Australia has entered the SPACE race with the completion of the first of a multi-million dollar corporate identity roll-out for the company’s 124 dealerships.

Thomson Kia, at Parramatta, is one of the first dealerships in the world to display the new Kia corporate look _ dubbed SPACE _ and will be joined this year by another 35 of KMAu’s key Metropolitan and Provincial dealerships. The extensive Australia-wide project is scheduled to be completed within four years.

“This is the first time we have had a completely integrated solution to the corporate identity of our dealerships and is just another reflection of Kia’s commitment to getting it right all across the board,” KMAu Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow, said.

“Our cars are winning widespread praise and the SPACE program is one more way of enhancing the new car experience for our growing family of customers.”

The SPACE concept encompasses a fresh restyling of the dealerships from the exterior fascia, the furniture and design of the showroom and customer welcome areas through to the service area.

Kia’s 124 dealerships across Australia cover metropolitan, provincial and country areas in a comprehensive service network.

There are 43 dealerships in NSW, 29 in Queensland, 25 in Victoria, 13 in Western Australia, 11 in South Australia, two in Tasmania and one in Darwin.


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