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

August 3, 2011 / 1381 /

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.

Kia Motors posts 18.7% global sales growth in May

August 3, 2011 / 1729 /

(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 / 1658 /

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 / 1532 /

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 Optima drives into design finals

August 3, 2011 / 1350 /

Kia’s stunning Optima sedan has been given the judges’ tick of approval as a finalist for the prestigious Australian International Design Awards.

The Optima is one of 10 finalists for the Automotive and Transport category, one of eight categories with a record total of 127 finalists.

“Our esteemed judges spent a week assessing each entry against a common set of criteria, focussing on innovation, form, function, quality, safety and sustainability,” said Brandon Gien, Managing Director of Good Design Australia. “Judges played with, tested, pulled apart and reassembled products to create an accurate user experience and understand each product’s design qualities.”

Mr Gien said that with a very high calibre entry field, the panel had a tough task choosing the finalist products.

“To be named a Finalist in the Australian International Design Awards is a significant achievement,” Mr Gien said.

The all-new Peter Schreyer designed Optima has won praise for its head-turning styling from both consumers and design experts since its international launch last year.

The car was awarded the “Best Of The Best” accolade from the international judges at Germany’s famous Red Dot awards earlier this year.

The Australian International Design Award winners will be announced at a gala event in Melbourne on July 22.

Upgraded Kia Soul at New York Show

May 17, 2011 / 1474 /

Kia Motors America (KMA) today celebrated the world premier of the comprehensively upgraded 2012 Kia Soul at the New York International Auto Show.

The product that began Kia Motors’ design-led transformation returns to New York with a fresh and updated look, more power, and the same funky demeanour that consumers all around the world have come to love from this compact crossover.  The hugely successful Soul is fine-tuned for 2012 with a significant number of technology and powertrain enhancements to deliver more power and improved fuel efficiency.

“After just two model years, we’ve given the 2012 Soul significant improvements in power, style and fuel economy, making this iconic vehicle the perfect package for consumers looking for something a little outside the box,” said Kia’s Michael Sprague.  “The Soul has always stood out from the crowd and is responsible for bringing new customers to the Kia brand and positioning the company for a series of record-breaking successes.  With gas prices on the rise, this refresh adds even more style and fun-to-drive performance, while also improving fuel economy by 10 percent.”

More Power, Less Fuel

The 2012 Soul will amplify the fun-to-drive factor with significant horsepower increases, new six-speed transmissions and the ability to deliver up to 34 miles per gallon on the highway.  A new 1.6-litre GDI engine produces 135HP (100kW), an 11 percent increase from the previous engine).  For buyers looking for a greater boost in power, a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is available with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission – advanced technology that is rare in this segment.

This engine, which produces 160HP (119kW), a 13 percent increase from the previous engine,  and 143 pound-feet (194Nm) of torque, is standard on the three Soul models.

Kia calculates that fuel economy for the 1.6-litre is an impressive 28/34 mpg city/highway (8.4-6.9L/100km), 10 percent more efficient than the previous engine, while the 2.0-litre offers a fuel-sipping 27/33 mpg (8.7-7.1L/100km) for both the automatic and manual transmissions.

More Style & Refinement

In addition to the 2012 Soul’s performance upgrades, the new model also introduces a number of significant design improvements.  On the outside, Soul is freshened with newprojector headlamps with LED daytime running lights, a redesigned hood and new front and rear bumpers.  New and modern LED rear light clusters enhance the Soul’s unique design, while the overall shape of the vehicle has been finessed to give Soul a smoother and more streamlined silhouette.

Spacious, State-of-the-Art Interior

Soul envelopes its passengers within a more high-tech, futuristic cabin for 2012, featuring a generous blend of technologies at tremendous overall value.  Soul was a recipient of theWard’s AutoWorld “Grooviest Interior” award for 2010, and passengers in the 2012 model will find genuine comfort in the roomy cabin.

New for 2012, an Infinity premium audio system is available on Soul+ models and standard on Soul! and Soul sport models for a more robust listening experience.  Also new for 2012 is the UVO powered by Microsoft® in-car hands-free communication and infotainment system.  A Premium Package is also available with heated front seats, leather seat trim, automatic climate control, and a navigation system among its upscale comforts.

Brisbane Kia Dealership in Toowong Grand opening

November 27, 2010 / 5015 /

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 / 1728 /

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.

Kia Sorento receives high tech upgrade

November 11, 2010 / 1934 /

Kia Sorento

Kia’s medium sized SUV, Sorento, has received a 2011 model year refresh across the range with a long list of enhancements ranging from Bluetooth technology to leather wrapped instrument cluster housing.

All vehicles across the Sorento range from the entry level Si to the range topping Platinum will receive the latest Bluetooth technology providing hands-free mobile phone connectivity and media streaming, all operated through steering wheel mounted controls.

“Kia Motors is constantly working with, and forming strategic partnerships with, technology suppliers who can make the Kia experience more enjoyable for our customers,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Tony Barlow

“As new technology becomes available and if it passes our stringent quality controls, we make it accessible to our customers as quickly as possible.”

Other refinements across the range include 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 receive upgraded in-mirror display rear view camera offering a higher resolution image and parking guide lines, making the accidental ‘touch park’ a thing of the past.

Also on the SLi and Platinum models, the instrument cluster housing has received a new leather wrap 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 Si remains unchanged with the 2WD automatic, 2.4-litre petrol staying at $36,490 just like its 2.2-litre diesel counterparts in manual and automatic which also remain unchanged at $39,990 and $41,990 respectively.

The 2.2-litre diesel automatic SLi and Platinum models receive the list of enhancements for an additional $200 making the new recommended retail prices $46,190 and $49,190 respectively.


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