Kia – The new kid on the motoring block?

KiaIt appears that Kia are steadily advancing themselves – go getters, if you like. The most recent and obvious example of which is there involvement in becoming official partners of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. The timing of this if you ask me? Perfect, as they launch a complete new range, which will catch the eyes of millions as the vuvuzelas blare on.

It was reported on the Kia website, that Kia Motors has supplied a fleet of 207 vehicles which comprised of a selection of Kia’s new range of vehicles to be used by teams, officials, delegates and official VIP visitors from all over the world for the world cup. Does this mean we’ll be seeing our ministers riding “phat” in Kia’s in the near future? I think the the chances of this are stated in the cars name.

An excerpt from Kia’s vehicle presentation stated: “Committed to surpassing customers expectation, with the power to surprise, Kia introduces the Cerato to the Kia range. The new Kia Cerato has been re-created from the ground up focussing on continuous innovative styling, enhanced driving pleasure and the implementation of new technology and value.”

Now Kia has the slogan “the power to surprise”… And that I was, when I saw the Kia Cerato Koup in traffic. I saw this lovely, stylish looking car from behind, and couldn’t tell which manufacturer it belonged to, as I couldn’t see the badge. And as I manoeuvred to get a closer look, I Immediately thought to myself, it’s probably like girls you see, who look nice from far and behind, but when you walk up close to them, the face is like a burglar bar, stopping you from approaching. However, this was not the case with the Koup, the front-end was even more appealing. This is also the case with the Sorento, Kia’s 5/7-seater SUV.

I haven’t test-driven these cars… yet, but I must say, the physical appeal is there. And the attraction is akin to most guys’ attraction to girls, which usually stems from the physical appeal, sparking interest to want to get to know the particular lady. Kia got this right! I do admit, personality does prevail for most sane guys, as well as car enthusiasts, however, some are merely enthralled by the beauty, and will bare the grunt of poor build and overall quality (shocking personality, or lack thereof in the case of a lady) for the sake of the ability to turn heads.

The Kia’s Cee’d was chosen to replace the Chevrolet Lacetti (Optra) as the new Reasonably Priced Car on the popular BBC show, Top Gear, with British entrepreneur Peter Jones completing the track in 1 minute, 45.9 seconds, faster than his lap time in the Lacetti.

This shows that Kia’s efforts to break into the major league are proving fruitful. As was quite well noted by Kia’s Stephen Kitson that the last time Top Gear gave the asian manufacturer any attention was when trying to build a Kia out of old washing machines.

I am just hoping Kia doesn’t get carried away like other “non-major” car manufacturers who get some attention, then all of a sudden grow an unsubstantiated ego and inflate their prices to ridiculous levels and begin to build cars so obscene my eyes bleed at roundabouts.

This is a great step for emerging manufacturers to learn from (much like Ghana being the flag bearer for the African continent). Stop producing “box cars” for the masses. Put a little heart and soul into the exercise.

David Abbey

Photo Credit: Quick Pic

Disclaimer – DriveRSA in no way supports Uruguay… for obvious reasons.

3 thoughts on “Kia – The new kid on the motoring block?

  • July 27, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Regretably, the harsh reality is that “the masses” can often only comfortably afford box cars
    The motoring journos gives basic cars such bad press that many people are discouraged from driving cars they can afford and overcommit themselves
    “Annual income R200 000 Expense R195 000 Result happiness
    Annual income R200 000 Expense R210 000 Result Misery” (Charles Dickens -Inflation Adjusted)
    But I guess the Banks love this until they have to repo and sell at a loss

  • July 27, 2010 at 10:57 am

    “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination” Oscar Wilde

  • August 5, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Clive, thats why am just hoping Kia doesn’t get carried away and inflate their prices to ridiculous levels, so that “the masses” can afford to “drive outside the box”! And that is the whole point of the article. Affordable cars, that are appealing.

    Sean — Old Oscar was a wise man!


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