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Meet the Kia Extra

April 5, 2012 / 1323 /

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.

Kia Picanto three-door wins prestigious design award

November 25, 2011 / 1324 /

(SEOUL) November 4, 2011 — Just a couple months after its launch, the sporty Kia Picanto three-door model, available exclusively in Europe, has been honoured with the coveted iF product design award 2012.  This award recognizes design quality alongside a number of other criteria, including workmanship, level of innovativeness and eco-friendliness.  It is the first time that Kia has offered its popular A-segment Picanto in three-door form.

For Kia Motors this is the fourth iF product design award in three years, following prizes for the Venga B-segment MPV (2010), Sportage compact SUV (2011) and Optima mid-size sedan (2011).  Additionally, the brand has won the red dot design award four times in recent years.

“Receiving the iF product design award for the new Kia Picanto is a great success for our design team and it is welcome recognition of our brand’s design oriented strategy,” said Kia’s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer.  “The second generation of the Picanto displays a very purposeful, self-assured design, and its sportiness is particularly underscored by the three-door version.”

The 3.6-metre long Kia Picanto boasts bold and dynamic styling, high-quality interior fittings and host of class-leading features.  It is specifically aimed at discerning customers, especially the steadily increasing number of consumers who wish to ‘downsize’ and switch to a smaller car.

In most markets, Picanto is available with two highly efficient petrol engines (51kW and 63kW) which, in combination with the optional automatic stop-start ISG system, reduces CO2 emissions to as low as 95 g/km.  Kia’s unique 7-year/150,000 km Warranty comes as standard on all Picanto cars sold in Western Europe countries.

A five-door bodystyle of the Picanto is available in most global markets.  In Europe, the three-door version is expected to account for 36% of total Picanto sales.  Through the first nine months of 2011, the Picanto (new generation and first generation combined) is one of Kia’s best-selling models globally, with 179,405 units delivered.

“We are confident that the new Picanto will redefine the small car segment by offering many features found only in larger cars, enhanced passenger comfort and increased cargo space,” said Tae-Hyun (Thomas) Oh, Senior Executive Vice-President and COO, Kia Motors Corporation.  “This award for our first three-door offering in the A-segment is yet another clear indication that our efforts aimed at positioning Kia as a design-led brand are paying dividends.”

Since its launch in 1953, the iF product design award has been conferred annually and is among the world’s most important prizes for excellence in design.  The award has its origins in the “Die gute Industrieform” (Good Industrial Design) product shows initiated by Hanover Messe and is now one of the world’s largest design competitions.  For 2012, a total of 2,923 products were registered in 16 different categories.  The Kia Picanto was honoured in the ‘Transportation Design’ category, which includes cars, ships, trains and aircraft.

The official presentation ceremony for the iF product design awards 2012 will take place on 10 February 2012 during the Munich Creative Business Week. All the winning products will be on display at the Hannover Exhibition Centre (6-10 March 2012), the iF design exhibition in Hamburg and at a subsequent iF design exhibition in Hainan, China.

Kia Motors signs MOU to build third plant in China

November 4, 2011 / 1325 /

(SEOUL) November 2, 2011 — Kia Motors Corporation announced today that it plans to build a third manufacturing plant in China in order to meet dramatically increasing local demand and to maintain its positive sales momentum in the Chinese market.

The signing ceremony for the investment MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) to build the new Dongfeng Yueda Kia Plant 3 will be held later today in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province.  The event will be attended by more than 50 Chinese government officials and Kia Motors representatives, including Hyundai Motor Group Chairman, Mong-Koo Chung.  Dongfeng Yueda Kia (DYK) Motors is a 50/50 joint venture through which Kia Motors manufactures, markets and services vehicles in China.

Upon completion of the plant, which will be able to produce 300,000 units annually, Kia will have increased its production capacity in China from the current 430,000 units at its existing two plants to a total of 730,000 units per year.

Mr. Chung said, “Kia is one of the fastest growing automotive companies in the Chinese market and this would not be possible without the continuous support and cooperation from the governments and citizens of Jiangsu and Yancheng.

“With our third China plant, which we will begin constructing at the end of next year, Kia will be well-positioned to provide its growing Chinese customer base with stylish, safe, reliable and high-quality vehicles while also helping to further develop the local economy and improve people’s lifestyles,” he added.

The new plant will be located just five kilometres from Kia’s second plant in Yancheng’s Economic and Technology Development Zone.  The close proximity to the existing facility will enable Kia to utilize the established infrastructure and to create synergies between the plants.

Kia plans to begin construction of the new plant at the end of next year and anticipates completion of the facility and the roll-out of production models in the second half of 2014.

Strategic models developed especially for the Chinese market to reflect local needs and preferences will be built at the new plant, but the specific models have yet to be finalized as Kia continues to study the rapidly transforming Chinese automobile market.

The city of Yanchang will be gifting 1,500,000 m2 of land to Kia and will also provide incentives such as preferential tax rates.

Kia has been one of the best performing foreign brands in China in recent years.  Sales of locally-manufactured Kia vehicles reached 101,427 units in 2007, and the company posted a 40% year-on-year increase in 2008, selling 142,008 units after the second DYK plant was put into full operation.

Kia continued its strong growth in 2009, recording a 70% year-on-year increase (241,386 units sold).  Last year, Kia posted further strong double-digit growth, reaching 333,028 vehicles sold for 38% year-on-year growth.

So far this year (through the end of October), sales of locally produced vehicles recorded 341,682 units thanks to the introduction of the highly competitive mid-size K5 sedan (known as ‘Optima’ in markets outside of Korea and China) and the sub-compact K2 (a localized version of the all-new Rio).

Kia is confident of reaching its 2011 China sales target for locally-produced vehicles of 430,000 units.  Kia enjoyed its highest-ever monthly sales in China in September, with 43,508 vehicles delivered – including 4,001 K5 sedans and 10,478 K2 cars.

Kia’s Chinese market share has also grown dramatically over the past few years – from 2.0% in 2007 (ranking 18th in the industry) to 3.0% in 2010 (13th in the industry).  Through September of this year, Kia’s market share reached 3.5%, making it a top-10 auto maker in the Chinese market.

Combined with its sister company Hyundai Motor Co., which has annual capacity in China of 720,000 units, the Group expects to reach sales of around 1,150,000 units in 2011, placing it third in the Chinese market behind VW and GM.

According to a Chinese government policy-making think tank, the State Information Center, next year’s local automotive demand will reach 12.7 million units, which is a 14.2% increase from this year’s anticipated total of 11.1 million.  Annual demand is expected to increase to 17.9 million units in 2014 and to 19.6 million units in 2015.

According to these forecasts and the huge production capacity increases being made by major competitors, Kia predicted that its market share in China would drop from the current 3.5% to 2.4% in 2014 if it only operated two plants.

During his visit to Yancheng, Mr. Chung inspected the existing DYK plants to check the quality process of Kia’s new models such as K5 and K2.  He commented, “We need to be very active in terms of meeting growing consumer demand in order to maintain our current positive momentum.  However, it is also essential that we further increase the emotional appeal of our products and raise our brand awareness in conjunction with establishing a strong local production system.”

“The Chinese market has been the key focus for many global automakers, and this trend has resulted in Chinese customers demanding better cars.  So it’s imperative that we capture the hearts of our Chinese customers by giving them an unsurpassed ownership experience.”


November 4, 2011 / 1144 /
LAS VEGAS, November 1, 2011 – Kia Motors America (KMA) is the fastest growing car company in the US, but what’s the point if you can’t some fun.
With a growing sports marketing portfolio that includes basketball, women’s golf, motorsports and more, Kia arrives in fabulous Las Vegas for the 2011 SEMA Show with a roster of four outrageous sports-themed vehicles, including two cars built by the world famous West Coast Customs (WCC).
Additional vehicles were conceived and built in-partnership with the popular lifestyle magazine, Antenna. Visitors to the Kia display at SEMA will also be able to revisit the classic video games of the 1980s on five iCade gaming stations utilizing iPads® and enjoy tunes being spun throughout the show by DJ Danny.
“Kia is experiencing unprecedented growth and momentum and we’re bringing our most exciting range of show cars ever to this year’s SEMA Show, including several variations on the stylish all-new 2012 Rio 5-door and the fuel-efficient and technology-laden Optima Hybrid,” said KMA vice-president marketing and communications, Michael Sprague.
“Our involvement in the world of sports has dramatically increased awareness and perception of the Kia brand, and together with some high-profile partners we have created a lineup of fun and eye-catching vehicles with unique back stories and plenty of personality.”


November 4, 2011 / 1216 /

LAS VEGAS, November 1, 2011 – Coming off two historic motorsports championships in the 2011 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSSC), Kia Motors America (KMA) has announced plans to increase its racing footprint next year.  KMA chose the SEMA Show to reveal its next step with a stunning 2012 5-door Rio B-Spec racer built by Kia’s racing partner, Kinetic Motorsports, to compete in the newly established showroom stock racing class next year. Not content with that, Kia has also revealed a specially-outfitted Optima Hybrid built by to lead the field as the official pace car of the United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC), a role previously filled by the funky Soul urban passenger vehicle since 2010.

“The Kia Racing program is just two years old, but with the Street Tuner Team and Driver championships already under our belt we are excited to expand to new forms of racing,” vice-president marketing and communications for KMA, Michael Sprague, said. “The B-Spec series is a great way for grassroots racers and Kia enthusiasts to get involved in motorsports and experience the outstanding driving dynamics and class-leading horsepower the all-new Rio 5-door subcompact has to offer.

“In addition to B-spec, we’re also pleased to continue our relationship with the USTCC. The sporty and fuel efficient Optima Hybrid safety car built by is sure to turn heads and continue raising awareness, perception and consideration for the brand with passionate enthusiasts.”

The Rio 5-door B-Spec racecar will compete against a variety of subcompact competitors such as the Mazda2, Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta in a range of motorsports events sanctioned by various organizing bodies, including World Challenge, GRAND-AM, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and National Auto Sport Association (NASA).

Showroom stock racing provides an affordable avenue for auto enthusiasts to participate in the excitement of competitive motorsports with a vehicle like the all-new 2012 Rio 5-door that is fun to drive, fuel efficient and stylish.

Once potential racers purchase their 2012 Rio 5-door, a B-Spec kit that costs $US14,000 is available for purchase from Kia’s racing partner, Kinetic Motorsports, that includes everything needed to transform the 2012 Rio 5-door into a proper racecar: roll cage kit, racing seat, quick-release steering wheel, racing harness, race shocks, lightweight wheels, spec-series tires, oil sump pan expansion kit and complete build instructions.
As an option, the racer can have the team at Kinetic Motorsports assemble the Rio at their shop in Buford, Georgia for an additional $US6000. USTCC Optima Hybrid Pace CarKia Racing has proven its mettle on the race track as a competitor, but the brand is no stranger to pace car duty either – the Kia Soul has been the official Safety Car of the USTCC since March 2010 and a 2011 Optima SX served as the official pace car for both the Rolex Sports Car Series “Grand Prix of Miami” and CTSCC races earlier this year at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

For 2012, the stylish and fuel-efficient Optima Hybrid replaces the Soul at the front of the USTCC pack and will lead the field during warm-up and caution flag laps to ensure a safe start or restart of a race.

Already noted for delivering class-leading fuel economy,the crew at have added a free-flow air intake system, Magnaflow® exhaust system, coil-over suspension kit to lower the ride height, front splitter and rear wing, lightweight wheels and performance tyres that will better stick to the racing surface.

The USTCC Optima Hybrid also features an eye-catching exterior with a custom colour scheme, series graphics and an array of lighting, including LED auxiliary lights and HID headlights, strobe lights and LED light bar on the roof to help direct traffic while on duty.
Moving inside, a state-of-the-art, 2400-watt audio and video system is connected to Infinity®3 speakers and amplifiers and rear passengers can enjoy a DVD system with dual monitors in the front-seat headrests with wireless headphones. Adding to the Optima Hybrid’s newfound raciness are custom leather seats with green stitching to match the exterior trim colour. The Optima Hybrid Safety Car is scheduled to make its first USTCC appearance in March, 2012.

Kia keeps the pedal down to retain Top 10 ranking

October 14, 2011 / 1178 /

Kia has shrugged off the challenge of a contracting new car market to maintain its sales momentum and retain a Top 10 position for September, according to official figures released by VFACTS.

For the second month in a row and the third time for the year Kia has underscored the brand’s growing desirability by claiming a Top 10 laurel with a 2.6 per cent market share.

“It is very pleasing and a clear indication that despite the many challenges facing the automotive industry, Kia continues to perform ahead of the game,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow, said.

“There were highlights for the month – Cerato’s continued growth, Carnival’s perennial domination of the people mover segment and a stellar month for Sorento – but there were indications of opportunities in other areas as well.”

Cerato sales, helped by the growing popularity of the 5-door hatch, jumped 145.2 per cent over September last year and maintained an 82 per cent growth rate for the year to date.

Carnival, driven by a pair of new engines, continued its domination of the under $55,000 segment with a 37.8 per cent share of the market while the compact Kia Rondo, winner of the recent Wheels Gold Star Award, is enjoying a renewal of interest with a 164.7 per cent jump on September last year and a 32.7 per cent year to date growth.

However, the star for Kia in September was the lauded Sorento in the Medium SUV segment. With a 6.1 per cent market share in one of the most hotly-contested segments the Sorento enjoyed a 196.5 per cent increase over September 2010 and maintained an impressive 27.5 per cent growth rate in 2011.

Kia owner jumps the start with all-new Rio

October 14, 2011 / 1301 /

The first person in Australia to buy one of Kia’s all-new Rios was so quick off the mark his local dealership had not yet received stock and most of its staff were in a training session to learn about the new model.

Derek Brookes from the southern Adelaide suburb of Aberfoyle Park, has owned Kia’s exclusively for the last decade purchasing two Ceratos and two Rios during that time.

As he walked onto the showroom floor of his local dealer, Wayne Phillis Kia, he had no idea a new Rio was about to be released until a salesman showed him the brochure.

“Every two years or so, Mr Brookes comes in and trades in his current Kia for a new one,” said Luke Varnas, Sales Manager at Wayne Phillis Kia.

The lack of a demonstrator model didn’t deter Mr Brookes who ordered a new Black Kia Rio S automatic with 16 inch alloy wheels.

“After my years of purchasing motor vehicles, I have now bought my fifth Kia, because when you’re on a good thing you stay with it,” he said.

Mr Brookes’ new Rio S comes standard with a raft of safety features including six airbags, electronic stability control and vehicle stability management with hill-start assist.

Entertainment is at his fingertips with audio and Bluetooth controls mounted on the steering wheel for driver convenience.

Manufactured for the first time with a choice of 3-, 4- and 5-door bodystyles, new Rio is set to completely redefine its position as a serious member in one of the most competitive sectors – the light passenger vehicle segment.

Rio sets a new benchmark in the segment. Cruise control from the Si model up and daytime running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, projection front headlamps, static cornering lamps, auto light control and an enhanced brake package in the range topping SLi, makes Rio one of the most feature packed models in its category.

Kia back in the Top 10 club

September 9, 2011 / 1580 /

Kia has broken back into the Top 10 for August with a sales increase of almost 10 per cent over the previous year, according to official industry figures released by VFACTS.

With sales of 2102 cars in August Kia has stepped back into 10th position amongst Australia’s top-selling automotive manufacturers.

“In what has been a challenging environment this is a clear indication that Australian buyers are willing to look closely at the new Kia range,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow, said.

“With the launch of the all-new Rio due in September and stocks of the superseded model dwindling it was always going to be a difficult month for us in the marketplace. However, the fact that other models in the range stepped up to the plate to keep Kia’s momentum going is exciting and satisfying.”

While stock shortages saw sales of the run-out Rio tumble by more than 67 per cent, the Cerato continued its stellar climb up the numbers with an increase of 92.3 per cent over the same month in 2010. For the year, Cerato sales _ boosted by the arrival of the well-received 5-door Hatch _ have jumped 73.1 per cent.

Kia’s dominance of the People Mover under $55,000 market increased in August with a 43.5 per cent share, giving a dominant year-to-date share of 35.8 per cent. The increased demand for Carnival in August was driven by the arrival of the segment-leading 3.5-litre petrol V6 and the widely-praised 2.2 R series diesel.

Soul enjoyed a popularity revival from a small base with a jump in sales of 192.9 per cent for the month over 2010 while Rondo also picked up ground for the month with a 91.3 per cent rise in sales.

Sportage and Sorento continued their strong demand and with improved supply for the month increased sales by 7 percent and 91.8 per cent respectively over last August. Optima maintained its popularity on supply-constrained demand.

“With almost universal growth in model demand Kia is continuing to track on target for our business plan,” Mr Barlow said. “With genuine market excitement over new Rio we are confident that will continue through the second half of the year.”

Kia gears up for fuel economy record attempt

September 2, 2011 / 1342 /

(SEOUL) August 26, 2011 — Two motorists are preparing to drive a 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid into the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records this week as they aim to set a new record for lowest fuel consumption (in a petrol hybrid car) while driving through all 48 adjoining states of America.

Taking on the epic 8000 mile (13,000km) fuel economy driving challenge will be experienced fuel economy driver Wayne Gerdes and his colleague and friend Chris Bernius, who will be completing the journey in a factory-standard Kia Optima Hybrid four-door sedan.

The record attempt will see the drivers depart from Kia Motors’ manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, on August 26, travelling through the 48 adjoining states in a clockwise direction, before finishing in South Carolina just 16 days later, on September 10.

Kia fans wishing to track the drivers’ progress will be able to receive live updates via Kia’s Twitter feed (@Kia_Motors) and a specially-developed Facebook app on Kia’s Worldwide page:

Photos, video footage and a written blog will be uploaded to the page on a daily basis from August 26.  The Facebook app will also enable visitors to explore the drivers’ route in detail, find out further information on the Kia Optima Hybrid and will also offer some best practice tips for motorists to achieve better fuel economy in their own vehicles.

Senior Executive Vice-President & COO of Kia Motors Corporation, Thomas Oh, said, “Fuel economy is becoming increasingly important to car buyers all around the world, and the Kia Optima Hybrid is one of our latest models to address this consumer requirement.

“Driving through all 48 adjoining US states is the ultimate ‘real-world’ challenge, but the Kia Optima Hybrid gives the drivers the very best chance of setting a Guinness World Record, as it has been specifically designed to achieve maximum fuel economy in all driving conditions, not just in the city.”

The Optima Hybrid is Kia’s first hybrid vehicle in the US market and went on sale in East- and West-coast regions in June 2011, priced from US$26,500, with national availability by the end of 2011.  A European version – which mates the electric motor to a smaller, 2.0-litre gasoline engine – is expected to go on sale in some markets in 2012.

The 2.4-litre Optima Hybrid employs a unique and innovative parallel petrol-electric hybrid powertrain developed by Kia that delivers a unique blend of performance – acceleration to 100 kph (62 mph) in 9.2 seconds, a top speed of 195 kph (121 mph), plus highly-competitive fuel economy equivalent to a 40.7 per cent fuel consumption improvement over the standard Optima EX model in the USA.

Kia to unveil four-door sports concept at Frankfurt Motor Show

August 26, 2011 / 1265 /

Powerful, dynamic and forward-looking, Kia’s new concept car signals the company’s distinctive new design direction. This rear-wheel drive four-door sports sedan marries sleek and muscular proportions with a sophisticated and elegant four-seater cockpit.

“No matter from which perspective you look at it – this concept car is roaring with energy and ready for take-off,” says Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors Chief Design Officer.

“I believe the car is a strong statement from Kia: we are ready to fast forward to an all new chapter.”

Visitors to the Kia stand in hall 3.1, booth A21 will also see the world premiere of the all-new three-door Rio and a refresh of the Kia Soul.


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