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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 claims two more red dot design awards

April 5, 2012 / 1256 /

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.


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.”

Kia backs young quick bowler Nic Bills

November 4, 2011 / 1298 /

Kia Motors Australia has added promising young NSW fast bowler Nic Bills to its Ambassador program.

Bills, a 19-year-old pace bowler who plays his Grade cricket with North Sydney, has enjoyed a meteoric rise from school cricketer to a rookie contract with NSW within the space of two seasons.

“It has been a pretty exciting ride so far, but there is still a way to go and I know that means a lot more hard work,” Bills said. “I am very pleased to be associated with Kia who _ in their own way _ are also on a fast-track rise.”

Both Bills and Kia are reaping the rewards of a focus on hard work and performance in fields of endeavour in which there is no shortage of competitor talent.

“Supporting Nic is an excellent opportunity for Kia to build a relationship with a young and talented sportsman who understands the challenge of being the new boy on the block,” Kia Motors Australia President and CEO Mk Kim said.

“Like Nic, Kia is a relative newcomer to our area of competition and, again like Nic, we are enjoying the rewards of hard work and careful planning with the growing popularity of the Kia brand.”

Bills, who only started playing cricket about five years ago to keep up with his mates at the prestigious King’s School in Sydney, quickly came under the notice of school coach and former Australian Test player Trevor Chappell.

His rise within the school competition was quickly matched by that in senior competition where he broke into the North Sydney First Grade side and with a season return of 47 wickets at 15.83 came to the notice of the NSW selectors.

Bills played in three Futures League matches where, he took seven wickets with a best of 4-36 before making his First Class debut against Western Australia at the SCG in March, 2011.

This season Bills has also been contracted to the Sydney Thunder in the 20/20 Big Bash League where he will share duties with Australian players David Warner, Doug Bollinger, Philip Hughes and Usman Khawaja along with West Indies legend, Chris Gayle.

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.

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.

Two World Premieres for Kia at Frankfurt Show

September 30, 2011 / 1291 /

Kia Motors celebrated two world premieres at the 64thInternationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) today (Tuesday) in Frankfurt, Germany.  The powerful, dynamic and forward-looking Kia GT concept car, which signals the company’s distinctive new design direction, was unveiled alongside the new three-door hatchback version of the all-new Rio.

The Kia GT took centre stage on Kia’s stand as Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer revealed the sleek and muscular four-door sports sedan with a rear-wheel drive layout – a first for Kia.

“No matter from which perspective you look at the Kia GT, it is roaring with energy and ready for take-off,” says Peter Schreyer.  “I believe this concept car is a strong statement from Kia that we are ready to fast-forward to an all new chapter.”

The 4,690 mm long concept has the classic front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout of a high performance sedan which ensures very different proportions from a front-wheel drive car.  The new concept allowed Kia to explore exciting new visual paths – with an extended bonnet, the front wheels pushed to the very front of the car, the cab-rearward stance with powerful rear shoulders and a truncated rear end.

Beneath the extended bonnet, power is provided by a 3.3-liter turbocharged Lambda V6 GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine generating 395 ps and 54.4 kgfm of torque (534 Nm).  The transmission is an eight-speed automatic.

The front doors and rear-hinged back doors open at a slight upward angle ensuring easy access to the spacious and airy interior which provides generous, uncluttered cabin accommodation for four – thanks in part to the Kia GT’s unusually long wheelbase (2,860 mm) and despite its low stance, overall height is just 1,380 mm.

Under Schreyer’s guidance, Kia’s European design team set out to create a concept car that was graceful, athletic and confident, but not aggressive or overbearing.  The focus on dynamism and pace was enhanced by the aeronautical theme adopted for many of the GT’s features.

Sporty three-door to expand appeal of all-new Rio

Around the world, the five-door hatchback and four-door sedan versions of Kia’s all-new Rio are already generating positive reviews in the press, and strong demand from customers.  Now, the appeal of Kia’s latest model will expand even further with the introduction of the company’s first-ever three-door hatchback Rio in selected markets.

Designed primarily to attract younger buyers to Kia for the first time, the three-door Rio will boost conquest sales after its introduction during the first quarter of 2012.  Ultimately, Kia expects the three-door Rio to account for between 20 to 25 per cent of total Rio sales.

New Rio three-door has the same dimensions as the five-door model (length 4,045 mm, width 1,720 mm, height 1,455 mm and wheelbase 2,570 mm) and retains the same low roofline, emphasizing its sporty stance.  In most markets, it will be available with the same range of powertrains, equipment and options as the five-door model.

With a total of three bodystyles for all-new Rio, plus the already-popular five-door refreshed Soul and five-door Venga (in Europe), Kia is confident of capturing an even larger share of the increasingly popular global compact car market.

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 / 1266 /

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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