KIA MOTORS NIGERIA CEO PROPOSES AN ECONOMIC BLUEPRINT OF THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY FOR PRESIDENT BUHARI

KIA now made in Nigeria Banner (1280 X 524px)

There is no gainsaying the fact that the automobile industry in Nigeria has a potential to contribute immensely to the growth and development of the country’s economy. Many a country across the globe has harnessed the great imports of the industry to enhance the growth and sustainability of their economy. Notable amongst these countries include South Africa where automobile sector held a special place in their industrialization strategy. At the current state of the nation’s economy with numerous challenges, it is paramount for the new government to focus on the overall sectoral rejuvenation, economic strategy and trade policy.

In view of the growing concern by stakeholder on the sustainability and possible review of the auto policy, the CEO of Kia Motors Nigeria, Jacky Hathiramani has charted a new course for the government and called on president Muhammad Buhari to address the key issues and lingering challenges in the development of Nigerian automobile industry. In his proposal, he posited on the germane significance of the industry and how pertinent it is for the new administration under the stewardship of President Buhari to bring to bear the progressive change it had instituted in its campaigns and programmes to the automobile industry.

According to Jacky, one of the major challenges bedeviling the development of automobile industry is the staggering amount and alarming rate of used vehicles importations. He espoused that “for the industry to grow, the importation of used vehicles need to be addressed. Despite the business challenges it pose to the local manufacturers, the level of the economic menace it constitute cannot be overemphasized. The government needs to be steadfast in its pursuit of economy growth by tackling importation of used vehicles and also strengthening the border to drastically reduce the spate of smuggling into the country. When the administration addresses the influx of the used vehicles, there will be a corresponding demand for the new locally made cars which will create a mass production and in turn drastically reduce the prices owing to a resultant effect on the cost of production.

He opined that, the thrust of the Nigeria auto policy needs to be restructured to further create an enabling environment for the local assembling companies. Taking a cue from developed countries where local manufacturers are given government aids and tax exemptions for Semi Knocked Down (SKD) parts and components from import tariffs, the current administration can further reduce or exempt local companies from import tariff which will go a long way in reducing the cost of producing the vehicle thereby reducing the prices and giving them a competitive edge.

While lamenting on the current state of the nation’s power supply, he enjoined the government to revamp the power sector for adequate provision of energy to support local plants. The operational cost of an assembly plant in Nigeria today is high based on the epileptic power supply and the high cost of running power generators has continued to have effect on the pricing of Nigerian made vehicles.

Jacky stated that adequate power supply is the fulcrum for sustainable economic growth. To make the locally assembled vehicles competes favourably and produce affordable vehicles to the teeming publics, the business environment needs to be conducive. The key initiative of the government should be centred on reducing the cost of doing business in the country. He stressed that the current administration needs to focus on pragmatic automobile policies – to drive growth and economic diversification.

He stated further that the foreign automakers who are not partnering with local companies to establish assembly plant needs to be barred from operating in the country to help strengthen the local assembling plants. Most importantly, the government needs to encourage the local assembly plant owners by enlisting them in its fleet requirements and solely use vehicles that are assembled in Nigeria.

As a developing country with a potential for economic growth, it’s of utmost significance to address the key issues in the automobile industry. Jacky stressed that the new political dispensation which rides on the goodwill of President Buhari offers a great opportunity to bring about the desired change in the economy and it’s important to immediately formulate investment friendly policies and embark on a trajectory growth of the economy through structural development of the automobile industry. There is the need therefore for the administration to establish a constructive and transparent policy to promote the development of local businesses. If the policies are well implemented, Nigeria will in no time supply the made-in-Nigeria vehicles to neighbouring countries and the country can move from consuming economy to a producing nation thereby ushering in trade surplus in the country’s balance of trade.

Made-in-Nigeria Kia Rio, the People’s Car Unbeatable Offers

The People's Car
2015 Kia Rio – The People’s Car

With an unwavering commitment to bring to the fore an affordable made-in-Nigeria vehicle, Kia Motors Nigeria has featured highly competitive special offers on the most sought after B-Segment sedan in Nigeria with both the Big Deal of N1.98m on Kia Rio manual transmission and Mega Deal of N2.97m on the automatic transmission powered Kia Rio. The people’s car as it’s dubbed at the unveiling of the made-in-Nigeria Kia vehicles by the former Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Mrs. Olajumoke Akinjide, is built with remarkable features that exceeds customer expectations and has over the years remained the preferred option for teeming customers.

In line with its promise to provide affordable best in class cars to the Nigeria publics, Kia Motors Nigeria has presented an unprecedented great customer savings on its made in Nigeria Kia Rio. The offers are to reassure the customers that their interest is always edged at the core values of the company. To ensure that all lovers of the People’s Car benefits from this offers, the offer is valid while stock lasts.

The Kia Rio is an extremely well-built car with innovative engineering, is low cost and fun to drive, and its interior is suitably comforting. Emanating flair from every angle, the Rio’s low, wide stance and short overhangs give it a strong, youthful identity all of its own. Kia’s designers have engineered a car with features that are cutting-edge yet at the same time effortlessly simple to use. A highly visible supervision cluster incorporates an on-board trip computer, while the steering wheel itself is tilt and telescopically adjustable so that you can find your perfect driving position. Switches are positioned for ultimate convenience – such as steering wheel-mounted controls for the audio system and auto cruise control. With minimal hand movement you can operate numerous controls without having to take your hands off the wheel.

From a structural framework that absorbs impact forces in both frontal and side-on collisions to a range of active and passive safety measures, the Rio is built to protect those that matter. The Kia Rio and comes with high efficiency and performance, low emissions and reduced fuel consumption, not to mention safety specifications of the highest order.

The ultimate expression of confidence in the Kia Rio body style is sure to impress with its dynamic stance and low-slung profile. Belying its invigorating looks, it offers the same fuel efficient powertrains, silhouette and clean, and distinct design touches that will make you stand out from the crowd. There’s no longer a need to compromise on style when searching for that perfect combination of comfort, economy and functionality.

More than just a promise, Kia Motors Nigeria is committed to making driving a true pleasure for customers across the country with youthful and dynamic styling and the latest in advanced technology, Kia cars are turning heads the world over with the power to surprise. From the Picanto to the Mohave, Kia offers a full lineup of sedans, SUVs and MPVs that are not only practical and stylish but downright exhilarating to drive. Kia remains the most exciting force of change in the automotive world and is ready to change the way you feel and think about driving with affordable cutting edge vehicles.

Kia partners Bi-Courtney on the #MMA2KiaRace Instagram Competition

#MMA2KiaRace
L-R: Assistant Marketing Manager, Jimoh Olawale; Managing Director/CEO, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, Christophe Pennick; Winner of the Kia Rio, MMA2KiaRace Competition, Scarlet Shotade;
Chief Operations Officer, Adebisi Awoniyi and Bright Okpocha (aka Basketmouth), during the Kia Rio presentation ceremony for the competition.

Kia Motors Nigeria, the leading Korean brand in the country has over the years been at the fore of urban culture with innovative and youthful designs of its best in class models. The company recently collaborated with Bi-Courtney Aviation Limited, owners of MMA 2 Airport to organise the first ever Instagram competition tagged MMA2KiaRace in Nigeria.

The competition recorded a remarkable feat as over 2000 contestants participated for the grand prize, the Kia Rio dubbed the people’s car. The final competition was held on Saturday, 6 June, 2015 at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2), Lagos. It was both an exciting and intriguing ceremony where 20 finalists are to compete for the Kia Rio in the grand finale of the competition. The contest was anchored by one of Nigeria’s finest comedians and the brand ambassador of Kia in Nigeria, Mr Bright Okpocha (aka Basketmouth) who cracked the ribs of all the contestants and the audience with hilariously rich jokes.

After a keenly contested game of intelligence, smartness and luck, a 23 year old Business Admin Student of University of Lagos, Ms Scarlet Gbemisola Shotade emerged as the lucky winner of the People’s Car, Kia Rio from the five finalists of the competition.

The social interaction of both individuals and brands in the world has moved beyond the face-to-face communication to easier and digitalised platforms like the social media where people can interact with brands at the comfort of their homes. Flowing from this dynamics, Kia Motors Nigeria as a brand that is committed to connecting with its teeming customers has deepened its social media campaign with the partnership with Bi-Courtney to organise the Instagram competition.

It will be recalled that Kia Motors Nigeria is the first automobile company to embrace the digital media particularly the ecommerce for all its transactions and interactions in Nigeria by listing all its models from Kia Picanto to Kia Mohave on the Konga.com platform amongst others. As a technology-driven company, that is undoubtedly at the vanguard of mobile and digital marketing, Kia Motors Nigeria has continuously key into the digital communication to save a lot of time and resources currently being expended doing businesses that can easily be conducted within the confines of its customers’ homes and offices.

It is in view of this new age communication and the growing urban culture that Kia Motors Nigeria collaborated with Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited to organise the highly rewarding competition, the MMA2KiaRace. The competition recorded an outstanding success as other prizes like an Executive Suite and an Executive Double Room at the Le Meridien Ibom Hotel, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, with free return tickets on Dana Air were won by the runners up. It was a win-win game for all participants as some other contestant won giveaways like fridges, Nokia Lumia phones, T.M. Lewin shirts, Levi’s sneakers, Swatch wristwatches and KFC’s meal vouchers.

KIA Partners Access Bank on Auto Finance Scheme for EMI as low as N45,000

signing ceremony kia Access
L-R: The Executive Director, Personal Banking Division, Access Bank, Victor Etuokwu; The C.E.O.,
Kia Motors Nigeria, Jacky Hathiramani; and the Zonal Head, Lagos Mainland, Commercial Banking Division, Access Bank, Ralph Opara at the signing ceremony of Access Kia promo launch.

Kia Motors Nigeria, an innovative and leading auto company excel not only in ground-breaking automotive technology, but in innovative financial solutions that helps its customers own the car of their dreams which carry the same ethos and pursuit of advancement defined by the vehicles they create. The company takes keen interest in providing affordable and flexible auto finance options to customers. In the light of this, Kia Motors Nigeria has teamed up with Access bank to offer a flexible, hassle-free car finance scheme with attractive interest rates and loan tenure to make owning brand new Kia vehicles easy and convenient.

More often than not, customers are presented with wide range of options for financing a car or securing an auto loan which makes it difficult to choose a tailor made scheme that perfectly fit their aspirations. This auto finance scheme is tailored to suit customers’ needs with manageable monthly repayments and is best suited for individuals, organizations, corporate bodies and institutions to avail a convenient and easy access to finance options making it easy to drive away their brand new Kia.

At the launching of the joint promotion held at Kia Showroom, Victoria Island, Lagos, Kia Motors Nigeria partners Access Bank to offer competitive auto financing to Kia range of vehicles. Speaking at the launching of the finance scheme, Jacky Hathiramani, C.E.O., Kia Motors Nigeria said “our core competitive edge in the auto industry is the offering of best in class vehicles at an affordable price and we are delighted to partner with Access Bank to make owning the Kia range of vehicles affordable with flexible payment options”.

The Executive Director, Personal Banking Division, Access Bank, Victor Etuokwu stressed that “the finance scheme is aimed at making all customers own a brand new car with ease and tailor made payment options. He further stated that “the joint promotion offers a subsidized insurance and registration fee, with improved access to auto loan to enable customers drive their dream car.”

“This partnership represents another step forward in our strategy to ensure our customers have consistently available, transparent and competitive financing. Kia’s vehicles offer modern design and reliability at an affordable cost. And with our special auto finance scheme with Access Bank, it’s never been easier to take home your very own brand new Kia. ” said, Jacky Hathiramani.

The partnership provides the opportunity for customers to walk into any Kia showroom across the country and get an on spot finance solution. “Our on-site financing service means that you have access to both the cars and the financing solution under same roof to make owning your KIA hassle-free” said Sandeep Malhotra, Chief Commercial Officer, KIA Motors Nigeria.

Access Bank vision is to satisfy all its customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Whether you take advantage of on-the-spot vehicle financing at Kia’s showroom, or apply for a loan at a branch, an Access Bank car loan is a convenient and flexible way to finance your dream car. “We understand that your individual lifestyle demands a certain standard of convenience, Kia and Access Bank partnership is designed to suit your individual needs” said, Victor Etuokwu.

Kia Motors Nigeria promotes a customer-driven corporate culture by providing the best quality and exceptional service with all values cantered on the customers. For over a decade it has embraced every opportunity to exceed customers’ expectations with steadfast passion and creative thinking.

The finance scheme has a flexible payment option for up to 4 year repayment tenure and a competitive equated monthly installments (EMI) as low as N44,423. From its entry level cars like the Kia Picanto and the People’s Car, Kia Rio to its luxury sedan Kia Quoris, all KIA range of vehicles are covered in the finance scheme. Customers can have access to this scheme at over 20 Kia sales and service outlets in Nigeria and all Access Bank branches nationwide.

KIA Motors Nigeria unveils its Multi Billion Naira Assembly Plant in Lagos, Nigeria

Aganga at Kia Plant

In the middle is Dr Olusegun Aganga, the Minister, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, inspecting the assembly plant flanked by the member of Staff of United Vehicle Assembly Limited during the minister’s working visit to the plant in Lagos.

Kia Motors Nigeria, the leading Korean brand in Nigeria, has continuously embarked on promising growth trajectory with a positive growth for over a decade, making it one of the fastest growing automobile in Nigeria. In a bid to further strengthen its leadership role in the industry, it has unveiled a new assembly plant, United Vehicle Assembly Limited (UVAL) in Lagos commissioned to produce 25,000 vehicles per annum.

In a working visit to the assembly plant by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga expressed his delight and appreciation on the successful completion of the new plant. According to Dr Aganga at the media chat with journalists after the inspection, he stated “I am pleasantly surprised at the level of success and the advance technology of this plant. I have visited different auto assembly plants across the globe and I can tell you that with the level of the quality assurance control and the sophistication of the equipment of this assembly plant, it can compete with international standard.”

The CEO of UVAL, Mr Jacky Hathiramani, stated at the event that, “the move to establish an assembly plant stems the tide of investment aimed at Nigeria and also keying into the country’s automotive policy. We are committed to making Nigeria a leading auto manufacturing country in Africa and also to contribute immensely to the development of the nation through this multi-billion Naira investment.” He further stressed that the plant has employed engineering graduates from Nigerian universities and will continue to provide employment for Nigerians.

“With today’s opening of our plant in Lagos, we have taken our growth commitment to a greater height in Nigeria and reposition our brand to the teeming publics by supporting the proudly Nigeria dream” further stated by Mr Jacky.

In a statement by the Chief Commercial officer, Kia Motors Nigeria, Mr Sandeep Malhotra, “the unprecedented stride of Kia brand in the automobile industry in Nigeria has continued to outpace competitions in offering best in class automotive technology to its customers. Premised on our increased acceptability among our valued customers in the last decade, we are now looking at further strengthening our foothold and expanding our reach in the Nigerian market with the new assembly plant”.

Delivering on its promise made by Kia Motors Nigeria last year to locally produce Kia vehicles in the country, the company recently launched its made in Nigeria vehicles which include Kia Rio, Cerato, Optima, Sorento, Soul and before the end of the year will be producing all its models ranging from the Sedans, Sport Utility Vehicles to the Pick Ups.

Kia Motors global sales rise by 3.0 percent in March

kia plant

  • Kia records year-on-year sales growth in China (11.3%), Korea (8.5%) and North America (7.9%) in March
  • Kia’s best-selling car in overseas markets in March is the Rio (K2) B-segment sedan

Kia Motors Corporation announced today its March 2015 global sales figures (export sales, domestic sales and sales from overseas plants) for passenger cars, recreational vehicles (RVs) and commercial vehicles, recording a total of 269,749 units sold. This figure represents 3.0% year-on-year growth compared to the same month of 2014.

In March, Kia posted year-on-year sales increases in China (11.3% growth with 61,431 units sold), the domestic Korean market (8.5% growth with 42,305 units sold) and North America (7.9% growth with 65,426 units sold).

Cumulatively through the first three months of 2015, Kia’s global sales totalled 690,775 units for a year-on-year increase of 0.5%. Korea (114,512 units sold), North America (155,659 units sold) and China (166,641 units sold) have seen a 6.0%, 5.8% and 2.0% rise in sales, respectively.

Kia’s bestselling model in overseas markets in March 2015 was the B-segment Rio (known as ‘K2’ in China) with 39,934 units sold. The Sportage compact CUV was the second best seller with 38,165 units sold, while the C-segment Cerato (known as ‘Forte’ or ‘K3’ in some markets), Optima D-segment sedan and mid-size Sorento CUV followed with 35,698, 22,479 and 19,060 units sold, respectively.

KIA MOTORS NIGERIA APPOINTS CLASS MOTORS AS ITS DEALER IN WARRI, DELTA

Class Motors

Class Motors, Warri, Delta State

Kia Motors Nigeria, the fastest growing automobile company in Nigeria, offering the public the very best in cutting edge automotive technology, has announced a new partnership with Class Motors Limited. To further expand its market reach and ease of access to teeming customers in the country, this dealership agreement will facilitate bringing KIA closer to the people in Warri and its environs.

In addition to bringing to the foray, vehicles that deliver best-in-class features and affordable price for value, the vision of KIA is to bring its world class facilities closer to its customers and manufacture vehicles that meet their dreams and aspirations.

KIA has continued to keep pace with consumers’ evolving wants and needs in order to remain competitive. The shifting consumer interests and the need to meet their expectations with exceptional service delivery has propelled Kia Motors Nigeria to extend its reach by signing a new dealership agreement with Class Motors Limited to continue to offer cutting edge automobile technology in the country.

Speaking on the partnership, Mr. Sanjay Tatpati, Assistant Vice President, Kia Motors Nigeria, said, “This joint venture with Class Motors is an important step in our expansion plans for the Nigerian market. Finding the right partners to work with in satisfying our customers is very vital to us. We are delighted to work with the experienced team of Class Motors and are confident that our customers and automobile enthusiasts will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this relationship.”

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Ben Edoja, MD, Class Motors Limited, said, “Our relationship with Kia Motors Nigeria is in furtherance of our corporate mission to provide customers with quality vehicles and services. We constantly seek ways to exceed our customers’ expectations and we believe this partnership will give us the opportunity to do just that.” He further quoted that the new Kia franchisee will offer full range of Kia vehicles, from the Kia Picanto to the Kia Quoris, wherein the customers will have ease of access and buy their preferred Kia cars.

It is indeed a significant step forward for KIA who has seen substantial growth over the years, making KIA vehicles available to a wider marketplace. The new dealership with Class Motors will facilitate Kia Motors Nigeria meet the objective of providing world class service that is second to none in the Nigerian auto industry.

Seoul world premiere for fastback Kia Novo concept car

kia novo

  • Modern, coupé-inspired design for Kia’s latest concept
  • Minimalist interior design with high-tech features
  • Powered by 1.6-liter turbo GDI engine mated with a new seven-speed DCT
  • Hints at the design direction for Kia’s next-generation compact cars

Kia Motors unveiled its latest concept car – the Kia Novo – today at the Seoul Motor Show 2015. Featuring bold, coupé-inspired styling and a minimalist, driver-focused cabin, the Kia Novo hints at the design direction for the brand’s next-generation compact vehicles.

‘Novo’ – refreshing, rejuvenating, innovating

Taking its name from the Latin ‘novatus’ (meaning renewed or refreshed), the Kia Novo concept is aimed at modern urbanites with stressful jobs and frantic schedules. Interpreted by Kia’s designers, the name ‘Novo’ represents the concept of making something new and fresh. The Novo establishes a calming, focused environment in which drivers can refresh and rejuvenate as they transition from one life commitment to the next.

Fittingly, ‘novatus’ also provides the origin of the English word, ‘innovation’, which the Novo concept brings to life with thoroughly innovative styling and high-tech interior features. The Kia Novo takes inspiration from classic, traditional craftsmanship and vehicle design, and reinterprets it for the 21st Century using modern materials and cutting-edge production techniques to create a sharp, dynamic body over a state-of-the-art powertrain.

Dramatic coupé-inspired exterior design

Designed at Kia’s state-of-the-art Namyang design center in Korea, and based on a specially-adapted version of the Cerato (Forte) platform, the Novo bears a coupé-inspired silhouette and unmistakeable Kia styling. The Novo’s minimal front overhangs, longer rear overhangs and fastback roofline, as well as a slim, long glass area, give it a raked, sporty profile.

The smooth, geometric design of the car’s shape is blended with a series of sharp, decisive lines and forms around the body. The front of the Novo sports the latest interpretation of Kia’s hallmark ‘tiger nose’ grille, now wider and more deeply embedded, and slim new laser headlamps. Low, wide air intakes house additional laser headlamps, which frame the Novo’s bold face, emphasize its low, wide stance and give the car a unique light signature.

The large front wheel arches lead directly into a strong, consistent shoulder line to meet the rear laser lamps, whose shape echoes those of the front for an identical light signature. The rear of the car uses prominent lines and low triangular exhausts to add greater width and volume to its shape and emphasize the car’s sportiness and on-road stability. Crisp lines surrounding the rear of the car ensure a high aerodynamic efficiency.

The Novo’s sharply creased bodywork gives the car a clean, modern appearance when viewed from the side, with strong lines on the doors, skirts and aluminum wing vents. Rear-hinged doors complete the car’s striking profile appearance, with slim, central pop-out door handles running level to the finely-sculpted aluminum door mirrors. The Novo’s diamond-cut alloy wheels feature a similarly sharp design, made up of straight edges and two-tone carbon and silver finish. Completing the Novo’s thoroughly contemporary look are an aluminum rear roof line and two-tone silver and green paint finish.

Driver-oriented interior with minimalist design forms

Designed as a sanctuary from the frenzied outside world, the Kia Novo’s cabin is a relaxing space in which to temporarily escape the stresses and strains of modern life. Focused solely on the driver, the minimalist interior provides few distractions from the task of driving, while all occupants benefit from plenty of space, a result of the car’s long body and intelligent packaging.

The long, wide dashboard, whose sharp lines are embellished with the use of leather, stitching and aluminum highlights, is angled towards the driver. The instrument binnacle shows relevant information through a compact three-dimensional hologram display, while a ‘blind control’ touch pad next to the steering wheel allows drivers to control the car’s many functions without having to take their eyes off the road ahead. The touch pad incorporates a fingerprint scanner, which automatically sets up elements of the car according to the driver’s preferences, such as music selection, audio volume and the type of information displayed. A wide touchscreen in the center of the dash provides the car’s full range of functionality to occupants.

As well as the neat, simple design forms that make up the dashboard and center console, the interior’s four individual dark brown leather sports seats add to the minimalist ambience of the cabin, each made up of simple linear shapes and featuring built-in inertia reel seatbelts to minimize ‘cabin clutter’.

1.6-liter T-GDI engine mated with a new seven-speed DCT

The Novo is powered by the latest high-tech production Kia powertrain to match its dynamic looks. A 1.6-liter ‘Kappa’ turbo gasoline direct injection (T-GDI) engine has been paired with the brand’s seven speed DCT to power the front wheels. The result is decisive, sporty performance and impressive fuel economy for Kia’s latest show star.

The Kia Novo concept is fitted with innovative new ‘adaptive concave profile’ tires, with a sunken middle section between two contact points serving to cool the rubber and channel excess road water away from the wheels for greater grip. The unique 20-inch tires feature two slim contact points on the outer edges to provide lower rolling resistance and reduce road noise, while contributing to provide a high level of grip under cornering.

There are currently no plans to bring the Kia Novo concept to production, though Kia has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear a strong resemblance to concept vehicles that precede them. The Kia Novo concept provides a glimpse into Kia’s plans for its future compact car line-up.

All-new 2016 Optima midsize sedan makes global debut at the New York International Auto Show

optima

  • Kia’s best-selling nameplate in US is passionately designed and obsessively crafted with European styling, a refined premium interior and significant ride and handling improvements
  • Optima matures into an expertly crafted sedan with two turbo engine choices and five trims, including the U.S.-exclusive SXL
  • Built at Kia’s U.S. plant*, Optima features reduced NVH and a more responsive, confident ride

Five years ago Kia Motors America (KMA) debuted the re-designed Optima at the New York International Auto Show and introduced a game-changing midsize sedan that catalyzed the brand’s design-led transformation. History was repeated when the all-new 2016 Optima, a symbol of the Kia brand’s maturation through continuous refinement and obsessive attention to detail, made its debut here today. An instant hit with consumers looking for a fresh alternative to an otherwise staid segment, the Optima has been KMA’s top-selling vehicle for three consecutive years, and the all-new model is poised to continue that success.

Conceived under the watchful eye of Kia’s president and chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, with modern and instantly recognizable design cues, the Optima maintains its athletic identity but rides on a chassis that is longer, wider and stiffer for improved ride and handling and a more spacious cabin. Available with three engine choices, including a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s mated to a seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), the Optima is more confident than ever on the road. The all-new Optima’s roomier, more luxurious cabin features an impressive level of craftsmanship that will come standard across five trim levels – LX, LX Turbo, EX, SX Turbo and SXL – when sales begin in the fourth quarter of 2015. As with its predecessor, the all-new Optima will be built at Kia’s plant* in West Point, Georgia. Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch date.

“The Optima changed the way people felt about the Kia brand, and KMA owes much of its growth and success to its head-turning design and sporty performance. It was – and still is to this day – a fresh alternative in the midsize sedan segment, and it amplified a five-year design-led transformation that propelled Kia to record-setting sales year-on-year,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, sales and marketing, KMA.

“The all-new Optima retains the signature personality of its predecessor, but we’ve literally improved everything, providing more space, better ride and handling, more technology and greater refinement.”

Instantly Recognizable European Design

Because the previous generation Optima was such a success story for the brand, Kia’s designers had to strike a delicate balance, retaining the identity of the vehicle while, at the same time, making a confident move forward to keep the car modern and fresh. Sweeping contemporary surfaces and modern architecture inspired the design of the all-new Optima, revealing a sophisticated and dynamic sedan that is instantly recognizable yet has more road presence than ever.

The all-new Optima is boldly designed to be functional and sporty with exterior dimensions that are marginally longer, taller and wider. The wheelbase has been extended to 110.4 inches (increased 0.4 inches), and the vehicle has been widened to 73.2 inches (increased 1.0 inch). Both changes enable a roomier and more comfortable cabin with more head room, shoulder room and rear seat leg room. The increased dimensions also allow for more cargo capacity in the trunk.

The aggressive front clip pulls the sheet metal taut over the wheel arches, and the swept-back headlights reach deeply into the fenders. On the SX and SXL trims, Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille is hot stamped and composed into a sophisticated pinpoint design that bears a strong resemblance to Kia’s luxury sedan, the K900. The all-new Optima introduces Kia’s first application of bi-functional HID headlights – with available Dynamic Bending Lamps and High Beam Assist – that illuminate the tarmac around corners.

The greenhouse silhouette maintains the raked A-pillar and sweeping C-pillar that lend the Optima its sport-sedan appearance. The rear vent windows kick up smartly just ahead of the carved rear fenders. As with its predecessor, the all-new Optima incorporates a raised deck lid, and the use of available LED halo-style tail lights mimics that of the Cadenza premium sedan.

The 2016 Optima rides on alloy wheels ranging from 16 to 18 inches, with three new unique 18-inch wheel designs, depending on trim level. Three new exteriors colors compliment the latest Optima’s sophisticated styling: a vibrant blue inspired by a sparkling ocean underneath a sunny sky; a dynamic grey with olive undertones, and a deep red that gains depth from the use of aluminum pigments.

Exquisite Interior Craftsmanship

Optima’s interior is larger and more comfortable with an innovative and functional cabin that is well-appointed with class-up touches. Drawing inspiration from Kia’s premium and luxury sedans, the Optima utilizes more soft-touch materials throughout the passenger compartment. Optima’s luxurious interior is obsessively crafted with an impressive attention to detail and features real stitching along the dash and doors, complimented by tasteful metallic accents, varying by trim level.

The driver-oriented cabin has been simplified with a cleaner, more unified design than the previous generation, with a stronger horizontal plane and a wider center console that help create a greater sense of space. By grouping and reducing the number of functional keys and buttons, Kia’s already-superior ergonomics are markedly improved.

The interior design team also paid particular attention to seat comfort. A stiffer seat frame reduces vibration and soft foam in the headrest, upper back and thigh-support areas allows occupants to nestle into seats with deeper side bolsters made with denser, more supportive foam. For extra convenience, heated and ventilated front seats are available with power adjustable driver and front passenger seats. For added convenience, the 2016 Optima offers a height-adjustable front passenger seat, a feature normally found only in premium vehicles. Depending on trim level, the seats are covered in cloth, leather or luxurious Nappa leather and two new interior colors – a rich merlot and a dark aubergine – are available.

Convenience and Technology

Kia’s cutting-edge connectivity system, UVO, comes standard with four additional eServices not previously available on Optima: Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score. Additionally, Optima is Kia’s pilot vehicle for the introduction of AndroidTM Auto and Apple® CarPlay (late availability), which allow drivers to access a suite of core functions from their smartphones. After connecting their smartphone to the head unit via the vehicle’s front fast-charge USB port (another fast-charge USB port is located in the rear seat), the 8-inch touchscreen screen displays the smartphone’s most important features. Core functions including music, messaging, navigation and voice calls are available via the screen, the steering wheel or via voice command2. Kia is one of the first to deliver this technology, which is available for select Android phones operating with Lollipop or Apple phones operating with iOS8.X or higher. Any future third-party apps that are added by either Android or Apple will be available for customers to enjoy from their respective app store.

While the standard six-speaker audio system will satisfy all but the most demanding enthusiasts, true audiophiles will gravitate to the available Infinity® Premium Audio System, which includes 14 speakers, Clari-Fi™ technology and an upgraded 630-watt digital amplifier. Clari-Fi is a patented music restoration technology that rebuilds audio signals that are lost in the digital compression process. This technology breathes new life into your favorite music, restoring a high-fidelity listening experience to any compressed digital source. Optima’s premium Infinity audio system also comes equipped with next-generation QuantumLogic™7 Surround technology, which extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and detailed. Kia was one of the first automakers to incorporate Clari-Fi technology into their audio systems with the debut of the 2016 Sorento, and Optima is the first-ever Kia sedan to feature QuantumLogic Surround technology.

The all-new Optima takes convenience to the next level with a long list of available technologies across the various trim levels. Available on every Optima is a rear-camera display while SX and SXL trims offer an available 360-degree Around View Monitor8. Available driver-aid technology, including Advanced Smart Cruise Control (SCC)8, Blind Spot Detection (BSD)8, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)8 and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)8 – which, under appropriate conditions, will bring the vehicle to a complete stop to potentially avoid a collision or reduce damage – makes the task of driving easier and more convenient. Also available for the first time on any Kia vehicle are Bi-function HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Lamps (DBL) and intuitive High Beam Assist (HBA), which recognizes oncoming traffic and automatically switches the lights to low beam until the opposing vehicle has passed.

Smart Performance and Safety

The 2016 Optima features a uniquely engineered body that combines various high-tensile strength steel alloys and sits on a chassis that is stiffer and more durable thanks to the increased use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). With more than 50 percent of the body constructed from AHSS, the all-new Optima represents a 150-percent increase over the previous car. The greater use of structural adhesive by more than 450 percent over the previous generation improves NVH and contributes to structural rigidity. Engineers also added more hot stamped components to the all-new Optima, a 350-percent increase over the 2015 model. This body structure helps provide crash protection, better driving dynamics, and is the foundation for a quieter ride.

Additional innovations were implemented to reduce NVH, lighten the vehicle and enhance aerodynamics. The 2016 Optima is the first Kia to feature a panoramic sunroof support structure made with carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, which helps reduce weight and lower the vehicle’s center of gravity. A larger full floor under cover helps reduce wind noise and aid fuel efficiency. Increased dash insulation, added windshield side molding and the increased use of structural adhesive ensure a quiet ride with reduced road and wind noise. Engine mounts, body panels and wheels all are stiffer on the all-new Optima, reducing vibrations, engine noise and road noise. Larger cross-member bushings are utilized to help isolate road and engine noise, as well as reducing engine vibration through the floor and steering wheel.

Improving ride and handling was a top priority for engineers. Overall, the chassis is lighter and stiffer, resulting in improved steering response, high-speed stability and handling. Moving the suspension location points of the front and rear sub-frames outward optimizes suspension geometry for a smoother ride over uneven pavement. Where the previous Optima made due with dual bushing mounts, increased lateral stiffness was achieved with a four-bushing mount system for both sub-frames. The increased stiffness pays dividends in improved steering response and tractability through corners. More robust wheel bearings up front and the addition of larger dual lower control arms at the rear also help refine the all-new Optima’s ride and handling characteristics. Available Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) improves steering response with a higher gear ratio.

The all-new Optima is available with three engine choices, striking a performance balance between sportiness and fuel efficiency. Two powerplants carry over from the previous generation, the 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder, available on the LX and EX models, and the 2.0-liter GDI turbo engine, available on the SXL and SX Turbo models. While the engines have yet to receive EPA certification, the 2.4-liter is estimated to produce 185 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 178 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The 2.0-liter turbo is expected to generate approximately 247 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,350 rpm. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic® shifting while the SX and SXL trims add paddle shifters. Both engines have been retuned for fuel economy and better performance and drivability with maximum torque now available at a lower RPM.

All new for the 2016 model is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine. The 1.6-liter will be offered on the LX trim. Pushing out an estimated 178 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and a stout 195 lb.-ft. of torque at just 1,500 rpm, the new engine mates to a seven-speed DCT, a first for the Kia brand. The transmission optimizes the engine’s responsiveness for a sporty feel that doesn’t sacrifice fuel economy. Also new for the Optima, Michelin® tires are available on all trims. All three engines channel energy through the front wheels.