Kia considering renaming scheme for majority of it’s existing vehicles

According to the Automotive News, Kia has been considering to abandon some of the unappealing names from their current cars and replace those with more hip and fun sounding ones. Don’t worry about the Soul and Forte as those two already belong to the group of new ones, but others, including Amanti, Rondo and Sedona could soon be erased from the existence.

I have first heard of Kia’s renaming scheme in one of the UK’s car magazines a week or so ago. And while I can’t remember exactly which automobile mag that was (probably because of it’s unappealing name), I remember editors reporting Kia’s soon going to use similar alpha-numerical number nomenclatures as Hyundai does in Europe (i10, i20, i30, ix55…).


Although the new alpha-numeric nomenclatures seem to work for Hyundai, I don’t find the same to be the best idea for Kia cars. Can you imagine a Kia Soul renamed to, let’s say, Kia c20 (crossover, 2.0L engine) or something similar?? Well, I don’t.

As, Automotive news reported the company’s not going to use the alpha-numeric names but rather than that, it will name it’s future products with more attractive regular names. “We want to leave the old baggage behind,” Michael Sprague, Kia’s vice president of marketing told Automotive News. “A lot of people don’t know who we are anyway. So why not come out with new and more attractive names like Forte and Soul?”

I myself prefer the regular car names over the alpha-numeric nameplates and sincerely hope these will stay with Kia. Although I wouldn’t mind some names, such as Rondo, Amanti or Sedona replaced with new ones that will be more pleasing to our ears.

28 thoughts on “Kia considering renaming scheme for majority of it’s existing vehicles

  1. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is launching a new roof strength rating system to help consumers pick vehicles that will help protect them in rollover crashes. Twelve small SUVs are the first to be put to the test. Only 4 earn the top rating of good. The Volkswagen Tiguan has the strongest rated roof, and the Kia Sportage has the weakest among the 2008-09 models evaluated.

  2. Alpha numeric names for fun to drive cars weird? Dunno: MX-5, Z4, A5, R8, 911, DB9, ZR1, E63AMG,…. just to name a few… 😉

  3. Read the article again….the Soul and Forte names already fit into the new name scheme

  4. The biggest problem for a world car these days is a name that may be great for the market in Outer Mongolia but has no meaning or sense to the rest of us. Now, I know it won’t work like that, but obviously when Kia first chose the names of their current lineup it meant something to someone, especially to those in South Korea.
    I remember a few years back when I was in Japan and the thing was to have anything on their T-shirts or cars or a company name in English, it was considered “very cool”. But when you’d walk around the streets of Tokyo or Nagoya and person walked towards you with something on their shirt in English, it was in English alright and I could read it, but quiet often they didn’t make any sense at all. One of the vehicle names that made us laugh at the time was a Toyota Lettuce??? Hmmm very nice English word……but on a car??
    Well that story aside, I don’t mind Rondo or Rio, Sorento, but Cerato?? which is what we are stuck with here in Australia…oh well.

  5. If they do it. Why dont they just use names like No.1 (Picanto) No. 2 (Rio) No. 3 (Rio Mpv). I could imagine people saying. “You have a nice No.2, man”

  6. Problem with numeric names is that you really need to have a very strong image and really need to be known very well. If I say I drive a 911 everybody immediately knows what I’m talkin ’bout, same for “a 3-Series” an “A6” etc…
    But I just bought a “N°3”, answer: “Is that the new Channel?”… In Belgium we have Picanto, Rio Cee’d (not very well chosen as the pronunciation goes from “seat” to “C-E-E-D” over ‘Shit” (serious!)), Carens (Rondo), Magentis (Optima), Sportage, Sorento and Carnival.

  7. I dunno, I had always liked the numeric names. hmm, I feel kind of half half on this topic.

  8. Kid Icarus,

    It was a joke, a pun specifically, thus the little smiley face. Get it?

  9. While I am certain that a lot of phychologists study the naming conventions, for the consumer it is just confusing. Pick a strong name, advertise it, and stay with it. The important thing is the quality associated with the name. Keep it high and you win (BMW, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Lotus) and people all over the world will remember. Let the quality slide (Edsel, Chrysler, Aztec, Yugo) and people all over the world will remember. An Alpha name sticks faster than a numeric name, so I think it will boil down to how much money is in the advertising budget.

  10. Got it. I would like to see Kia change some names…I don’t mind it at all and think it’s a smart move!

  11. Gotta be careful with the names though since they don’t always mean the same thing around the world: case in point – Mohave vs Borrego. In Latin America the latter litteraly is the name for a baby sheep or an ignorant person! Ouch.

  12. Chevy Nova is a good example of that. It means “It doesn’t go” in Spanish. Not the best advertisement for a car.

  13. Mazda launched a LaPuta which is Spanish slang for whore; Honda went for Fitta which in Scandinavia is a naughty word for a female’s private parts, and Mitsubishi quickly withdrew its Pajero from the Spanish market when it discovered that a pajero is a man who pleasures himself.
    To be safe, manufacturers have started making up words that sound good but mean absolutely nothing: Vectra, Mondeo, Corsa. Safer still are numbers – BMW 7 Series, Rover 75 – or a combination of letters and numbers – XR3, A10. Except the Toyota MR2, which the French say as “MR-deux”. And then have to wash their mouths out as “merde” is thoroughly unpleasant.

  14. Hmmmmm, I’m not to sure where you’re coming from there Hyundai, was that ride or drive a real La Puta :-)

  15. Hmm. I think this is an interesting concept, I believe all except the Soul Sportage and Forte should be renamed, and a few redesigned. Why dont the do something simple Like the SCC for the Rio (SCC=subcompact car) MSC for Magentis FSC for Amanti, MPC For the Rondo, MSUV for Sorento, FSUV for Borrego. Just Throwing ideas around, even if they do sound dumb and simple.

  16. I’ve been told that Kia is seriously considering to rename some of it’s models. They have SUVs and minivans (MPVs) on their mind. Wonder why Kia chose the No3 name for it’s latest mini-MPV concept?!

  17. Great Idea!!!!!! Hoepfully the Names on the cars don’t become more Mainstrain in the public minds than the maker of the VEHICLE. Case in point Legend most people just say I have a Legend and you had to ask who that made by so Acura went to the TSX and other corny intials for their cars to make you say ACURA TSX.

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