Kia Sorento wins coveted Public Car of the Year title at Middle East Car of the Year Awards

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  • Sorento wins MECOTY Award for Public Car of the Year after securing highest number of public votes from across the region

Kia’s all-new Sorento emerged as the winner of the coveted Public Car of the Year honor at the prestigious 2015 Middle East Car of the Year (MECOTY) Awards. The Kia Sorento received the highest number of public votes from across the region amongst all 48 nominated vehicles. The results were announced at a gala award ceremony in Dubai on 29th October.

The accolade comes soon after Kia Motors’ milestone of exporting its 15 millionth vehicle in August 2015, coincidentally a 2016 Sorento with the United Arab Emirates being the destination. The Middle East is one of Kia’s most successful markets as the region contributes significantly to the brand’s global sales volumes.

Commenting on the Sorento’s Public Car of the Year award, Mr. Alex Chung, President of Kia Motors Middle East and Africa Regional Headquarters, said, “The people have spoken! The incredible vote of confidence from the Middle East customers themselves is a fantastic achievement for all of us at Kia and will inspire us all to try even harder to satisfy the exacting standards of car buyers in this region.”

“Receiving this award is a joyous milestone for Kia as it is a clear sign of our cutting-edge innovativeness as a manufacturer. The aim we had with the Sorento was to set new standards in driver comfort, aesthetics and automotive technology and we are now realizing those objectives. This award makes our efforts all the more meaningful and rewarding because it demonstrates the success and recognition we have earned in the region. It is a tremendous moment for us also because of the quality of the cars we were competing against, which shows that Kia is a pioneering leader in a market filled with exemplary brands,” Mr. Chung said after receiving the award.

MECOTY is regarded as the most prestigious award in the Middle East’s automotive industry. Leading global car brands competed in different categories including Group A (Sedan/ Executive), Group B (SUV/Truck) and Group C (Performance). The winners were determined by a judging panel comprising prominent automotive journalists from across the Middle East. Members of the jury panel represented countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Included in the judging criteria was determining whether the nominated vehicles met the demands of customers in the region.

The all-new Optima: Embodying the evolution of Kia’s midsize sedans

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With the release of the fourth generation Optima in April, Kia has continued to revolutionize and advance its line up of luxurious midsize sedans. The new Optima’s prowess embodies the growth and progress of Kia Motors as an influential and innovative automobile manufacturer. Today, let’s take a look at the inspiration and groundwork that have shaped the evolution of Kia’s midsize sedan into the dynamic and powerful fourth generation Optima.

Kia Concord (1987)

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The origin of Kia’s midsize sedan dates back to the Concord in 1987. Even then, the Concord boasted the kind of power that rivaled larger sedans, paving the way for Kia in the midsize sedan market. Thanks to its laudable dynamics and performance (at one point, even being used for motor sports), the Concord was affectionately dubbed “the king of the highway.”

Kia Credos (1995)

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The Kia Credos succeed the Concord in 1995. Named after the Latin root ‘credo’ meaning belief, Credos caused a stir in the market for its responsiveness and outstanding handling. The Credos also received recognition for its excellence in design and its 1.8L DOHC engine performance.

First Generation Kia Optima (2000)

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The release of the first generation Optima marked a major turning point for Kia’s midsize sedans. Incorporating a unique grille and an unprecedented 4-headlight design and establishing the signature Kia face, the sleek silhouette of the 2000 Optima would become the benchmark for future models to come.

Second Generation Kia Optima (2005)

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The second generation Optima, also known as the Lotze (named after the Himalayan peak, Lhotse) in Kia’s home market of Korea, featured the optimized handling of its ancestor, the Credos, and enjoyed immense popularity, becoming a top-seller in its segment in the Korean market only behind the Hyundai Sonata.

Third Generation Kia Optima (2010)

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The third generation Optima, known as K5 in the Korean market, debuted in 2010 and featured a sportier, more sophisticated profile. The refreshed look, under the direction of President and Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, was honored at the 2011 iF Design Awards and was named the “best of the best” at the Red Dot Awards for its groundbreaking design.

All-New Optima: Enhanced and Refined

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Remaining true to Kia’s dedication to quality and perfection, the fourth generation Kia Optima has emerged as a creation that is, at once, sophisticated and powerful. Boasting extensive enhancements and options including a luxurious color range, the Optima has been refined and perfected thanks to the foundation set by its predecessors.

With the all-new Optima standing as the quintessential embodiment of style, innovation and power, Kia continues to set the bar and push the boundaries of conventional midsize sedans. We invite you to explore the all-new Optima and stay tuned for Kia’s further advancements in excellence!

Kia Remains Strong on Interbrand’s 2015 list of 100 Best Global Brands

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We are proud to announce that Kia stands proudly at number 74 on the international brand consultancy Interbrand’s 2015 list of 100 Best Global Brands.

Kia has demonstrated strong performance as a global brand, making Interbrand’s exclusive list for Best Global Brand for the fourth consecutive year. Despite the unfavorable economic environment of the past year, Kia has sustained a brand value increase of 5%, growing to an estimated value of 5.7 billion USD.This value is an outstanding 530% growth since 2007

Interbrand attributes this remarkable growth to Kia’s dedication towards “excellent design, high quality and innovative brand management in the global markets.” Kia has also earned a number of other accolades this year. Earlier this year, we were honored with number 1 position among mass market brands inJ.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study (IQS), while the Soul EV, our first globally sold electronic vehicle, was crowned Car of the Year in Norway and Best Eco-Friendly Vehicle via MotorWeek’s 2015 Drivers’ Choice Awards.

We are incredibly grateful for the recognition and will strive to strengthen the brand by providing global fans with innovative products and value-added service!

Kia Motors Nigeria Bagged Trio Awards, Deepens Leadership Position in Auto Industry

L-R: Publisher, Onwheels Magazine, Jabez Aina-Scott and the Group Managing Director, Kia Motors Nigeria, Jacky Hathiramani, at the award presentation

L-R: Publisher, Onwheels Magazine, Jabez Aina-Scott and the Group Managing Director, Kia Motors Nigeria, Jacky Hathiramani, at the award presentation.

Kia Motors Nigeria has over the years earned a remarkable reputation in offering the best in class automobiles that continuously set the pace and remains at the fore of innovative products to exceed the expectations of customers at all touch points. As recognition for its accomplishments in the Nigeria auto industry, the company won the Most Innovative Auto Company for the year while it’s Group Managing Director, Jacky Hathiramani bagged the leadership and Kia Picanto was named the Budget Car of the year in the 2015 Nigeria Auto Award.

It was indeed a remarkable feat for Kia Motors Nigeria to come out on top of all auto companies for its second to none innovative strides in sales and world class accentuated after sales service. “Winning innovative company award like this is testament to the thought that goes into all our strategic planning geared towards giving the best service to our esteemed customers and ensuring we offer not only the most reliable and durable vehicles, but also the most cost-effective top-of-the-segment models” said Sandeep Malhotra, Chief Commercial Officer, Kia Motors Nigeria.

The success of the Kia brand in Nigeria is hinged on a team of outstanding professionals and their unalloyed commitments are rooted in positioning the brand as one of the industry leaders with exceptional satisfaction to customers. The team led by Jacky Hathiramani, Managing Director, has left no stone unturned to offer tailor-made propositions to customers. Recognized for his leading role in the Nigeria auto industry, Jacky was awarded the prestigious Leadership Award. He has steered the company to its current status as a leading player and his presence has seen Kia brand increase its turnover manifold in the country.

Admired for its practicality and fun design, the Kia Picanto triumphed among other competing brands to win the budget car of the year. Kia Picanto’s affordability is easy on customers’ budget, fuel efficient and maneuverable in cramped city streets or parking lots without compromising value for a guaranteed exhilarating driving experience. The entry level car has all the practical advantages of a small car as well as a fun-to-drive personality on the road.

“We earned the awards through our outstanding professionalism and commitment to quality,” said Jacky Hathiramani. “Our team has continued to work tirelessly in ensuring exemplary standards of performance in sales and service, and most importantly, in satisfying our customers’ needs. We are proud to receive these awards as they are tribute to excellent customer relations in sales and service and we will continue to offer top-notch services for our esteemed customers”.

For the past decade, Kia has demonstrated absolute commitment to maintaining high standards for customer satisfaction. Offering top quality cars is, of course, the first step – but only the beginning, Kia Motors Nigeria strives to match the quality of their products with the finest service in the industry.

BULLETPROOF KIA QUORIS, A ‘LUXURY FORTRESS’ ON WHEELS

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September 14, 2015 – With a different beat and an enhanced armoured technology against munitions attacks, Kia Motors Nigeria has created a niche in the super-luxury market with the introduction of the shatterproof, grenade resistant, opaque anti-blast armour, and protective coated reinforced bulletproof Kia Quoris for high-net-worth individuals and government officials.

The bulletproof Kia Quoris currently selling at N39.6M has enjoyed an impressive outing and gained momentum amongst top chief executive officers and government officials. It’s armour-plating is rated as one of the best bulletproof cars in the country with a sniper resistant roof fitted with special steel and shatterproof glass.

“The armoured luxury sedan handily gets a turbo-charged 3.8-litre V6 and boasts enough protective capability to defend against rifle fire from military weapons, hand grenades, explosive charges, amongst others. High-tech fibres and enhanced materials are used to implement the armouring process with top notch installation techniques to provide greater protection and exhilarating experience for our well-heeled, security-conscious customers” said, Sandeep Malhotra, Chief Commercial Officer, Kia Motors Nigeria.

Kia Quoris armoured luxury sedan provides an exceptional level of protection from the impact of collisions for all occupants and is outfitted with high-performance run-flat-tire inserts. The springs, shock absorbers, role and torsion bars and brake system are replaced with new uprated parts. The ratings of these components are measured to provide the optimum balance in handling so as not to affect the overhaul driving dynamics of the reinforced luxury sedan from the standard model.

The bulletproof Kia Quoris charts a new course of fortified sedan with pre-fabricated opaque armour components and elegant style, it’s everything you’ve ever wanted from a rear-wheel drive rock-hard luxury sedan.

KIA EXPANDS DEALERSHIP NETWORK, APPOINTS W G MOTORS

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In its pursuit to bring its exceptional service to the teeming customers dispersed across the country, the leading Korean brand in Nigeria, Kia, appoints W G Motors as its dealer in Minna, Niger State. The zest to work on every possible aspect of customer care and expand their dealership network across the country geared towards exceeding customers’ experience has made Kia a successful brand in Nigeria.

With the appointment of W G Motors in Minna, Kia Motors Nigeria has recently increased its growing franchise portfolio. According to Jacky Hathiramani, Managing Director, KIA Motors Nigeria, “This new outlet gives us a foothold in Niger state and we believe our deep-rooted commitment to offering outstanding customer service, coupled with Kia’s stylishly designed product range will make it a success.”

The Managing Director of W G Motors, Mr Iyiolawale Olawale stated that “partnering with Kia is hugely important to our company and we have great faith that with our exceptional service delivery to customers, the brand will continue to grow its market share in the Northern Nigeria in the years to come”. “Our dedicated sales staff and top-trained technicians are here to make auto shopping experience fun, easy and financially advantageous” said Iyiolawale.

“The new dealership is aimed at offering a very personalized experience to the ever evolving buyers preferences and we think W G Motors is an ideal partner to give Kia’s exceptional experience at the region”, added by the Vice President, Kia Motors Nigeria, Sanjay Tatpati.

The new Kia’s extension in Minna opens to meet the increasing demand in the northern Nigeria for Kia vehicles. “We have a great new outlet to display the model range together with dedicated workshop facilities and as part of our commitment to improving quality and standards across the board, we will, of course, continue striving to deliver consistent and impressive all-round experience for our customers” said Iyiolawale.

The need for loyal customers to be truly successful cannot be overemphasized, premised on this the management of W G Motors offer extras in its value added services. They are conducting a free check-up camp from the 7th of September to the 30th of September where KIA owners can bring their cars for free health check, diagnostic services and will be given technical advice by the experts on how to get optimum performance from their vehicles. Also, in a bid to ensure that customers get the lowest possible price, the auto company is giving a 10% discount on labour charges.

KIA ENTERS INTO A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH UBER

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With the growing popularity of urban culture and prevalence of hailing cab service in the metropolitan cities of the country, Kia Motors Nigeria has entered into strategic partnership with Uber to provide lead generation software connecting riders to drivers in the area. The partnership is directly in line with the commitment to making the people become an Uber investor with an affordable state-of-the-art Kia model range.

There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria has remained one of the commercial hubs of Africa with an estimated population of over 150 million. As the most populous African country in the world, the need to provide a seamless means of transportation system to meet the requirements of the publics is germane and this has galvanised the strategic partnership between Kia and Uber.

Globally over 100 000 partner drivers are currently operating on Uber’s network. Uber is not only changing the way people connect with their cities, but also creating thousands of investment and work opportunities along the way. To make this a success in Nigeria, Uber is leveraging the low maintenance cost of Kia vehicle to increase the adoption of its services in the cities in which it has presence across the country.

“In a bid to provide a stress-free transportation in the country and provide investment opportunities for our teeming customers, we have deemed it necessary to partner with an internationally acclaimed technology company, Uber, which gives optimum value to customer satisfaction and a maximised return on investment for investors. The company has remained at the fore in creating a technology platform that is customer-focused” said Managing Director, Kia Motors Nigeria, Jacky Hathiramani. He further stated that “Uber’s technology continues to transform the way millions of people move around their city and our partnership with the company is to give people the best-in-class Kia model range that gives exhilarating experience to passengers on the go.”

Uber is focused on building a service for hundreds of millions of Nigerians and creating investment opportunities. Premised on this, Kia’s leadership and experience in the auto industry will be crucial in helping the technological company to meet their goals.

As a part of the deal, interested Uber investors who do not want to make an outright purchase of the vehicle can avail the offer of an accessible financial scheme powered by Access Bank that gives 10% equity contribution, competitive equated monthly instalment as low as N95,000 monthly, special pricing and flexible repayment tenure of up to 48 months.

Kia Cadenza earns AutoPacific’s 2015 Ideal Vehicle Award in Large Car category

2015 Cadenza

  • Advanced technology, safety features and world-class styling continue to earn Cadenza critical acclaim
  • AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award recognizes product designs that most completely fulfill buyers’ needs and expectations
  • Cadenza adds to its Vehicle Satisfaction Award earlier this year with an Ideal Vehicle Award for the Large Car category
  • The premium and stylish Kia Cadenza sedan has earned AutoPacific’s 2015 Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) in the Large Car category (tie). AutoPacific’s IVA is based on over 66,000 surveys completed by new-car owners in the first half of 2015 and recognizes products that most closely meet buyer requirements and expectations. Based on the responses from vehicle owners, the survey encompasses the vehicle’s ride and handling, driver’s seat comfort, interior storage, safety features, engine power and acceleration, and technology.

    “The introduction of the Cadenza was a response to customer demandfor a Kia product that was larger and even more luxurious than the SXL trims of our Sorento CUV and Optima midsize sedan, and as our first step into the premium segments, it helped continue the transformation of the Kia brand, paving the way to our luxury flagship sedan, the K900 (‘Quoris’ in some markets),” said Orth Hedrick, Vice President, Product Planning, Kia Motors America (KMA). “AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award is important because it represents the voice of the customer and offers confirmation that the Cadenza’s blend of world-class design, quality and features is hitting the mark with Kia owners.”

    The IVA is Cadenza’s second honor from AutoPacific in 2015, following a Vehicle Satisfaction Award (VSA) earlier this summer.

    About AutoPacific

    AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing research and product-consulting firm. Every year AutoPacific publishes a wide variety of syndicated studies on the automotive industry. The firm, founded in 1986, also conducts industry forecasting and extensive proprietary research and consulting for auto manufacturers, distributors, marketers and suppliers worldwide. Company headquarters and its state-of-the-art automotive research facility are in Tustin, California, with an affiliate office in the Detroit area. Additional information can be found on AutoPacific’s websites: http://www.autopacific.com and http://vehiclevoice.com/

Kia Motors Nigeria Assembly Plant Facility Tour

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There was a palpable air of excitement throughout the facility tour of the multi billion naira state of the art assembly plant of Kia Motors Nigeria, in Lagos where over 20 journalists of leading media houses in the country visited the plant to peruse the equipment and the brand’s assembly process. There is no gainsaying the fact that, Kia has remained one of the major brands in country with its year-on-year phenomenal rise that has galvanised the brand into a monumental feat in the Nigerian auto industry following the unveiling of the plant in the first quarter of the year

Reinforcing the company’s unwavering commitment to the industrialisation of Nigerian economy and its indelible contributions to the success of the auto policy, it has invested heavily in the assembly plant. Its state of the art technologies are arguably at par with any renowned and international plant in the world. The plant now prides itself on the production of 9 models and their respective trims in the country with over 2500 units rolled out since its launch in April, 2014.

The sprawling complex has been built to the high standard of Kia Motors Corporation. Culminating in several months of construction, installation of technologically advanced equipment and the training of its staff have snowballed into its first assembly lines that assembles Kia models, such as its best-selling Kia Rio, Cerato, Optima, Sportage and the all-new 2015 Kia Sorento recently unveiled globally amongst others are all products from the plant.

In tandem with all automobile assembling/manufacturing plants in new market practice globally, the plant kicked off with semi knocked down where painted and trimmed bodies are shipped from an established plant in one box, mechanicals in another, join the two, add some locally sourced transmission fluids, air conditioner gas and the host of others.

With no prejudice and utmost transparency to help in alleviating the rate of unemployment in the country, over 85% of the employees are sourced locally from top Nigerian universities, speaking at the tour, the Chief Operation officer, Gitesh Yagnik pointed out that the plant house over 100 engineers drawn from Nigerian universities and had undergone a top notch intensive training program and capacity development before been employed into the plant. In his words “we now have 150 trained and qualified engineers that can be compared to international standard and over 50 support staff running the operational and assembly process cycle of the plant”. In a testament to his words, the tour was conducted by Yemisi, the supply chain manager, and she gave a holistic and professional insight of the plant’s facility and assembling process to the journalists, evidently her expertise it’s unquestionable.

Apparently, the plant is people-focused. “We believe our strength is in our employees rather than machines” the Chief Commercial Officer, Sandeep Malhotra said. He further alluded to the fact that the success of the plant is premised on Nigeria’s auto policy. According to him, for the industry to be revolutionised and to contribute immensely to the country’s IGR, the government needs to stay true to the policy and clamp down on the unchecked influx of imported used cars, popularly known as “Tokunbo” vehicles.

Speaking to journalists in a media chat after the tour, Sandeep pointed out that “the company is yet to break even with the investment as the demand for new cars in Nigeria is relatively low compared to pre-owned vehicles, hence, if the policy holds sway wherein 70% increased duty is implemented and the prices of used cars soar higher, there will an attendant shift in the demand and customer preference which will directly impact on the supply of locally assembled new cars in the country.” He however sated that, Kia Motors Nigeria remained resolute and committed to the long term investment in the auto industry despite the short term challenges currently faced. The plant has the capacity to produce 27,000 vehicles in a year and there is a provision to increase the production lines which is dependent on the demand. In view of this, auto companies will only break even if there is an increased demand which reduces the total cost of production.

Against all odds and to make owning its vehicles affordable to all without compromising on the brand’s renowned quality standard across the globe, the company currently sells its best-in-class and widely accepted Kia Rio for N1.98M. It’s indeed a quantum leap by the auto company to present a new car for less than N2M.

At the end of the tour, it’s apparently lucid that there was no compromise on the quality and the high standard of the plant and it remains one of the best in the country. It’s highly ventilated facility and its environmental worthiness bring the auto company to the fore of the Nigerian auto industry. The excitement emanating from the plant cannot be overemphasised as the employees are passionate about their work and are committed to producing made-in-Nigeria Kia vehicles the preferred choice in the country.