iF Design awards go to Kia Sportage and Optima

  • Latest additions to Kia’s line-up recognized for their design quality, workmanship, innovativeness, eco-friendliness, ergonomics and safety
  • Official presentation ceremony to take place on the first day of CeBIT (1 March 2011)

(SEOUL) December 6, 2010 – Kia Motors has emerged as a double winner following the announcement of the iF product design awards for 2011, receiving the prestigious design prize for the all-new Sportage compact CUV and the all-new Optima D-segment sedan.

In addition to design quality, the jury also recognizes a number of other criteria, including workmanship, level of innovativeness, eco-friendliness, ergonomics and safety. One of the main focuses in this year’s awards was on the participants’ brand image.

“These latest awards for the all-new Kia Sportage and Optima are proof positive of the tremendous strides Kia has made in revolutionizing the styling of our product line-up,” said Tae-Hyun Oh, Senior VP & COO, Kia Motors Corporation. “Our global management focus on design since the mid-2000s is now clearly paying dividends, and, in conjunction with the rapidly improving quality of our vehicles, Kia’s enhanced brand reputation is being driven by the stunning designs being created by our design teams around the world, led by Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer.”

Since its launch in 1953, the annual iF product design award has been one of the world’s most important prizes for excellence in design.

The award has its origins in the product show “Die gute Industrieform” (Good Industrial Design) initiated by the Hanover trade show and is now one of the world’s largest design competitions. For the iF product design award 2011, the organizers received 2,756 submissions from 43 countries for products registered in 16 categories. Kia Sportage and Kia Optima won in the category “Transportation Design.”

The official presentation ceremony for the iF product design awards will take place on 1 March 2011, the first day of CeBIT (the world’s largest trade fair showcasing digital IT and telecommunications solutions for home and work environments).

This day will also see the opening of a special exhibition showcasing all the award-winning products at Hannover Exhibition Centre. The exhibition will run until August 2011 and several hundred thousand visitors are expected.

The award-winning third generation of the Kia Sportage marks a dramatic shift in design direction for the compact SUV. Embodying Kia’s newfound visual dynamism, the new Sportage successfully blends the key features of an SUV – the commanding driving position, heightened sense of security and raised ground clearance – and all of this is contained in a sleek and urban-friendly design with global appeal.

The key design element of new Sportage’s purposeful stance is the relationship between its high shoulders and narrow glasshouse. “We’ve created a vehicle with a sports car-like ratio between sheet metal and glass,” explains Peter Schreyer, Kia’s chief design officer. The feeling of safety and protection the design projects is backed up by hard data: the new Sportage received “5 Stars,” the highest possible rating, in the Euro NCAP crash test – as have all new Kia models since 2007.

The dynamic and stylish Kia Optima, which celebrated its European debut at the Paris Motor Show 2010, has emerged as a top-seller in several countries. In the domestic Korean market the sporty sedan went straight to the top position in the D-segment, and is the very first Kia to have achieved this. The Kia Optima is an all-new car and it embodies what Peter Schreyer calls “a bold, athletic and visual sporting energy.”

These are not Kia’s first major product design awards. Last year the Kia Venga was awarded both the iF design prize and red dot award, while the Kia Soul is also a recipient of the red dot award.