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Kia Celebrates 20th Anniversary In The U.S.
It has been a period of extreme growth for Kia Motors America for the past two decades, with much of the credit going to the introduction of 16 new or totally redesigned vehicles during the past 5 years alone.
Last year, 2013, saw Kia deliver no less than seven models, many of which picked up awards and accolades from consumers and industry experts alike.
As the new year begins, Kia sits as the seventh largest brand in the US by volume and has clocked two consecutive years with sales topping a half million units.
The Optima mid-size sedan, which is currently built in the US, was the brand’s top-selling vehicle for the past 2 years, and broke an annual sales record for the company with 155,000 units sold.
New Kia Models Receive Wide Number Of Awards
Among the accolades were a top ten ranking, a first for Kia, in the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Initial Quality Study – IQS. Interbrand also named them as one of the Best Global Green brands.
There were also individual honors for some of the vehicles, including the Sorento and Optima being names to KBB’s list of “10 Best Under $25,000.”
The all-new Kia Soul, Cadenza, and the Forte sedan also came in with awards from major automotive magazines.
U.S. Production Plant Rolls Out 1-millionth Kia Vehicle
The KMMG manufacturing plant in the US helped boost success in 2013. The state-of-the-art manufacturing plant is responsible for the creation of 14,000 jobs, both directly and in the supply chain.
The one millionth vehicle rolled off the line in July, a mere 4 years after production first began.
The Optima and Sorento, the cars produced at the plant, were among the biggest sellers for the brand.
What’s more, the upscale models of both did particularly well, paving the way for Kia to introduce the Cadenza premium sedan.
Brilliant Advertising Campaigns – Soul Hamsters, Superbowl Commercials
Marketing has been a strong point for Kia, too, with 2013 marking the 4th straight year they had ads running during the Super Bowl.
That will continue into 2014, where the K900 will star in a 60-second spot during the big game.
The sports trend is also present with Kia being the “Official Automotive Partner of the NBA” for the 7th straight year, whilst also acting as sponsor to an LPGA even in California and as the “Official Vehicle of the Southeastern Conference” (SEC).
Another major component in boost in brand awareness came with the release of the funky Soul CUV in 2009.
The 2014 version represents the second generation and provides drivers with a more upscale striving experience, while the vehicle still maintains that iconic style that the drew in consumers in the first place.
The new look was introduced by the beloved trio of hip-hop hamsters, with the ads set to the backdrop of Lady Gaga’s ‘Applause.’
The musical feel was carried over in the launch, which included appearances at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards and the inaugural 2013 YouTube Music Awards.
SEMA Auto Show Hosts Customized Soul Crossovers
The SEMA Show in Las Vegas was also part of the marketing, with a number of on-off Kia Souls were shown to those in attendance.
That all helped propel the Soul to its best sales year ever, moving a total of 118,000 units.
Kia Motors America Milestones (2013)
– Kia launched 7 new vehicles in the USA during 2013
– Kia sales surpass 500,000 mark for the second consecutive year
– Kia’s U.S. plant rolls out its 1-millionth vehicle in July 2013, less than 4 years after production began
– Kia Racing finishes 2nd in the Pirelli World Challenge