Kia Motors South Africa reaches 10 year milestone

  • From humble beginnings to a successful brand
  • Hyundai-Kia becomes 5th largest car manufacturer in the world
  • First vehicle manufacturer to launch a 10-year/150 000 km warranty in SA
  • Kia Motors becomes official automotive partner of FIFA

(Johannesburg) 31 October, 2008 – Driving is all about journeys, and Kia’s journey has been an extraordinary one. Kia Motors has been in South Africa for 10 years and in the decade we have achieved several significant landmarks.

We’ve gone from being Korea’s first car manufacturer to being a major international manufacturer. The final destination of our journey has always been to be the world’s best and biggest manufacturer, and we’re well on our way.

Kia Motors South Africa is a division of a major industrial group Imperial Holdings. The Kia Motors slogan “The Power to SurpriseTM” represents the company’s global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through international accomplishments, design, safety, quality, brand awareness and industry-leading warranties.

In 1998, when Kia first became available locally, only two models were offered but since then the business has grown to comprise an impressive stable of nine vehicles covering all key volume sectors of the South African passenger and light commercial vehicle markets. Other landmarks include the sale of almost 100 000 Kia vehicles in South Africa and the establishment of 62 dealerships countrywide. Kia Motors has been built into a quality and reliable brand with thousands of happy and satisfied customers.

Kia Motors Corporation have 40 000 employees across 14 manufacturing plants in eight countries. These plants sell 1.4 million vehicles a year in 165 countries. We also have six Research & Development Centres including ones in Germany, Japan, Slovenia and the USA.

All this has been achieved with the dedicated efforts from everyone in the Kia Motors family during the past ten years and we are now bearing fruit as Kia Motor Corporation has become a respected player in the global automotive industry. Our ambitions are grand, but they’re within our reach. In 1999, together with our sister company, Hyundai, Kia Motors was the 11th largest car manufacturer in the world. This year it is the fifth largest.

The products that contribute to this success are the funky Picanto, the Rio hatchback and sedan, and the Cerato (hatch and sedan). The Carens and Sedona fly the Kia flag in the MPV sector while the Sportage and Sorento do the same in the SUV environment. In addition, Kia has a strong commercial vehicle line up comprising the K2700 Workhorse, Chassis Cab and Tipper. Not to mention Kia’s latest success story, the pro_cee’d – the sports coupe launched on 31 October 2008, which brings sensationally stylish looks and much more sportiness to the C-segment marketplace.

Kia was also a Car of the Year Finalist in 2006 (Rio), Picanto won Best Budget Car of the Year in 2005 and 2006 (as voted by Car magazine) and was awarded Top Safety Pick for Sedona and five-star NHTSA safety ratings for Carens, Sportage, Sedona and Sorento. Our efforts at producing quality cars mean that we have the confidence to offer the best warranty in South Africa. It also means that the results are there to see. Kia is currently the first vehicle manufacturer to launch a 10-year/150 000 km warranty (on the Sedona, Sorento and Carens).

Furthermore, Kia’s design is now under the stewardship of Peter Schreyer, one of the most respected automobile designers in the world. His CV includes groundbreaking cars like the original Audi TT, the new Beetle, Golf V, Audi A3, Audi A4, Audi R8, Lamborghini Murcielago and Lamborghini Gallardo.

His first complete project for Kia Motors, the pro_cee’d, has received overwhelmingly positive feedback internationally, winning eight international ‘Car of the Year’-style awards, receiving numerous motoring magazine awards and ranking first in more than 30 comparison road tests, and becoming the most decorated Korean-brand car ever in European automotive history, according to Kia Motors Corporation.

As a truly international company it was a natural step to sponsor international sporting events. Kia Motors is an official automotive partner of FIFA – the governing body of the FIFA World CupTM – as well as a EUROTOP partner to UEFA.

In addition to the FIFA Partnership, Kia also started its own major international sports marketing campaign with the Australian Tennis Open and Davis Cup. Successful sponsorship and superb performance had led Kia to engage in further sports marketing activities such as the Inline Skating, Motorsport, the Asian X-Games, as well as the sponsoring of Wimbledon Champion Rafael Nadal.