Kia Motors America opens new design center

Today, Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO of Kia Motors America -KMA and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia -KMMG, was joined by local and state representatives for the grand opening ceremony of the new 21.7-acre Kia U.S. corporate campus in Irvine, Calif.

The $130-million investment includes the Kia Motors America Corporate Headquarters and state-of-the-art Kia Design Center America -KDCA.

Now fully operational, the Irvine campus currently employs approximately 400 permanent full-time employees and has the potential to house approximately 600 employees at full capacity.

The corporate headquarters is a custom-built facility that is home to the Kia Motors America’s sales division, as well as its marketing, public relations, technical service and research and development. The new facility also houses the KMA western region office and IT services.

kia-design-center.jpg       kueinlobby.jpg

Click image to enlarge!

“We established our operations in Orange County 15 years ago, and as the company has grown, so has our presence in California,” added Ahn. “This is a special day as we celebrate our permanent home in Irvine and look forward to our continued success in the U.S. market.”

The state-of-the-art, 100,700-square-foot design center was developed with tremendous input from the Kia Motors U.S. design team to ensure an aesthetically pleasing and physically functional layout that encourages creativity.

It consists of a design studio, a modeling studio that allows up to eight vehicle models to be worked on simultaneously, a milling shop that features a Zimmerman computerized milling machine, a 2-D presentation room, a color and trim room, a wood/metal shop, a 3-D presentation room that features clearstory windows to allow for viewing indoors under natural light, a paint booth, a private outdoor viewing courtyard, a recreation room, a research library, four conference rooms and a secure, underground garage.

“By establishing the first Kia-exclusive U.S. design center in Irvine, we can take advantage of the tremendous design talent and inspiration provided by the Southern California car culture in a functional environment set up to maximize our designers’ abilities and creativity,” said Tom Kearns, Kia Motors U.S. chief designer. “KDCA will produce stylish, new vehicles that will impact the new design direction for Kia Motors worldwide.”

The 239,000-square-foot modern glass and steel main structure features a 36,000-square-foot reflecting pool visible to drivers on Interstate 5. Kia was one of the first companies in Irvine to voluntarily install a bioswale system in its parking lot to remove silt and pollution from surface water runoff.

The landscaping features drought-resistant plants, and reclaimed water is used for landscaping irrigation and toilets. The exterior glass of the building meets the California Energy Commission’s requirements for energy efficiency standards. [Source: Kia]

30 thoughts on “Kia Motors America opens new design center

  1. I wish Kia, Hyundai, any company really would consider building a design center in the Eastern USA. I’d love to visit some of these places out west, but that’d be an expensive trip, flying or driving. Alas it’s off to CA I will have to go for now… This center sounds like a magnificent view to behold. They also seem to have the “Green” idealogy in their design, with the “bioswale” system and the water reclamation for reuse within the facility. Three cheers for Kia! :)

  2. Its wonderful. All that tech is so cool. 3D and 2D and everythin else.
    BTW, AutoMidleEast recently test drove the Mohave in UAE and I’ve sent the review to himi and he will post it on the blog soon.

  3. To whom, etc..

    I recently purchased a KIA Optima that was offered at auction by the manufacturer (you). This vehicle was purchased by a dealer whom I bought it from. The vehicle has hail damage that does not show up on any history
    report. The question is: when did this damage occur, when with the manufacturer or with the dealer? Or, in other
    words when did this fraud happen?

  4. Hey Jerry, this isn’t really the forum for your question. I checked Kia’s site though and think the following info may be more useful to you:

    If you have vehicle or dealer comments, questions or suggestions please call 1-800-333-4542 or visit our Consumer Assistance Center online or write to:

    Kia Motors America
    Consumer Affairs Dept.
    P.O. Box 52410
    Irvine, CA 92619-2410


  6. I am with you amanda. I have a kia sportage which had to get a new engine and I bought it brand new….Its been a problem eery month. I call the dealership and its horrible. I am writing to the president.

  7. Yeah, if the dealership doesn’t recognize your problem, call the little number on your door to talk to someone at Kia about it! 1-800-333-4KIA (4542) If the dealership can’t figure it out, they need new people in the service department! After the people in our service department stole our tires, we called Kia, and they were fired, and we got new tires!

  8. BTW, you are very lucky you bought a Kia if you didn’t have to pay for a new engine. If you would have had just about any other car, your insurance would have had to pay, or you would have had to pay out of pocket. You shouldn’t be complaining. What kind of problems do you have? Is it a 4 cylinder or V6? Are you going to be one of those people we never hear from again?

  9. Bocho, first off, who made you god? People have real problems and your belittling them or at least condescending them to make them look like idiots. Is that your job, to point out the obvious, or be just a loser. Its people like you that need to jump off that tall, tall building.
    I unfortunately own a 2004 KIA OPTIMA. It has about 53K on it and the engine has failed twice. KIA is telling me that the second failure is my fault because of lack of maintenance. Well i proved to them my records and showed them that it is not, the reason why the engine failed again is because of negligance of repairs. I owe too much on this vehicle and im lucky to get $200 says one dealership.
    I have done everything to explain my case to them and they give me reps that are clueless to what i am asking and saying. Sad thing is, i didn’t have to mention that was a service advisor/manager for over 3yrs, but i had too. Did you know they had this girl write letters to the BBB and 12news against me, but the really sad thing is, i am being rejected by a person that HAS NO CLUE about automotive! This is an establishment thats in it for the money, not for their consumers. If it were for their consumers, then i would be NOT on here wasting my time to get justice.
    For anyone that has any comments against, do us both a favor and shut up, becuase you DO NOT know the history of the vehicle.
    I be brief about it:
    Vehicle is a 2004 KIA OPTIMA, never was disclosed proir to sale; was a rental car by Enterprise out in Cali. Second owners warranty gets cut in half (they don’t even advertise that on their commercials/flyers).
    It had 22K miles on it when i bought it, and the dealership told me that some old guy bought it and drove it up to Washington St. for the summer and then came back. So it is broken in properly with highway miles.
    39K miles, engine blew #2 cylinder rod through the bottom of the block and oil pan.
    Found out they were not going to cover it under warranty because i replaced the engine.
    HUH? I bought it from your dealership!?
    Well they did after i told them about it, but other things started to fail along with the CHEAPEST way possible to rebuild the small block. Lets just say, i had to pay for a new timing belt and timing components. So please tell me how much of an idiot i must be for understanding about how a car works. Second note, i drove the car to Cali for my road trip i had planned out for quite sometime and KIA re-assuring me that it is safe to go on that road trip. My crankshaft seal blew and spitting out oil everytime i drove. Well i made it back to AZ because i took care of that issue, but putting more oil in the engine. That really shows lack of maintenance of my part.

    I have more and more and MORE FACTS against KIA, but as long as i get a competent person that has their head on their neck, maybe we can get this resolved, but in the meantime; I HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE UPSET! The second engine failure happened in July 24 2008. So i have been out of car, my hours of work been cut back, and where i live has no city transit.
    Hmm, MAYBE I DO KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. That is why i bought the car, to have that coverage from where i live. CAVE CREEK, ARIZONA. Closest dealer is about 14 miles away, the second one is about 26 miles away. So the TOW charge alone is costly, let alone the gas, but now i have a loan to a vehicle that is broken by neglegance of repairs!

  10. Uh, they are supposed to tell you about the warranty BEFORE you sign the papers. Second, most of your problem was the dealership. They sound like dishonest idiots that don’t have a clue about any way that Kia operates as a corporation. Next, Your Kia has the older engine, that was not as well developed, and breaks down easier. Now that they redesigned the engine, they are having hardly any problems. If I were you, I would look in to trading it in at the Kia dealership. They will give you loyalty discounts, and the current rebates on the Optima are really good. Plus you would get the warranty. With the warranty, you have to take it to a dealership that isn’t too lazy to fill out the paperwork. One last thing, I just want you to be aware that this is an enthusiast site, and is not officially a Kia site.

  11. Dear Sirs!…It’s been over a month since I tried to contact KIA Headquarters…I bought a 2006 KIA SEDONA LX van that belonged to a Dealership Manager’s wife in Las Cruces New Mexico. The accounts manager sold me a discount voucher booklet for reduced scheduled maintenace services for the vehicle. Such dealership is 90 miles roundtrip from where I live in Texas. In El Paso, the KIA dealership would not honor the discount vouchers, the dealership in Las Cruces NM sold me such vouchers citing that they would be honored at ALL KIA DEALERSHIPS,–not true!–I’ve contacted the Las Cruces dealership and said–bring in your vehicle and we’ll honor it—and drive 90 miles? That defeats the purpose for what I bought them in the first place!..I am sure I am not the only person having customer satisfaction issues with the way bussiness are being conducted by KIA Motor representatives…Is this really what you want the American Public to deal with?…with the way the economy is going it is unfair for us as KIA customers to have to go through…please find it in your best interest to at least provide me with some (2-3) complimentary oil&oil filter changes, and at least one complete change of breakes to maintain my vehicle in optimal condition. I work in the medical profesion and I rely extensibly in my vehicle for transportation. The way I was mislead to buy services for my van and the agravation that I have been submited to allows me to at least ask for such complimentary services…I would appreciate it very much!!

  12. I bought a 2005 Kia Sedona EX/LX 2 days ago. It only had less than 37,000 miles on it. Several things wrong with it. The dealer said would have them fixed that it’s under warranty. So, I agreed to buy it. I drive it home, a metal noise is evident, it isn’t the brakes. The interior smells horribly, enough to make me sick to my stomach and gave me a headache. I drove it the next day, long trip metal noise again, smell atrocious and then to bring it back and discover rust on the brakes and underneath the body, hail damage on hood and roof. Rust, painted over on hood near the sunroof. I am sick to my stomach about signing a contract on a vehicle that is truly a mess. Am praying that the Lord will convict the salesman and the dealership to cancel the loan and take back this mess. They had bought it at an auction and had told me, oh your covered if somethings wrong with it, we can take it back to the auction within 14 days. We’ll see if they keep their word.

  13. Well, you wouldn’t be having those problems if you’d have bought a new one. With the 5,000 dollar rebate on the new one, you could get a new one for almost the same price as a used one.

  14. Hello

    I bought a 2008 Kia Sportage 2 wheel drive automatic transmission 16 months ago and i am generally satidfied with the product and the dealer’s support. Since i bought this suv i started thinking about car design. My feelings is that all cars, suv’s from all car manufacturers lack very important caracteristics to make them real good, reliable and affordable car that will last for years in providing excellent services.

    I would like to make proposal to kia design group in that matter and i am offering to provide KIA with innovative car design ideas and concepts that relate to car safety, relaibility, technical innovations, resiatance to shocks.

    If you are interested in ideas, innovations and succes please contact me at the follwing address without any obligation of your part. My request is not a business calll nor an invitation to tender but a request to exchange new ideas and concepts in car design.


    Mr camille Boily

  15. Does anyone know how i can get a hold of this new design center or Peter Schreyer ? I have some serious designs that i would love to show KIA. If anyone has any info. please contact me ASAP. Thanks.


    512 – 704 – 5949

  16. we Are looking for a forum. Wrting to Comsumer Affairs is a way of shhhhhing us. Give us a way to get and get feed back. How do we let someone know about problems

  17. What are your problems, and instead of smearing the brand, you could calmly work things out. Please, tell us your problems.

  18. I don’t know how Kia can be so cold. Congrats on the $130 million new facility – I am so glad a foreign company can prosper so well in America – at our expense. Yes, I am being sarcastic. Have every reason to be… I, too, am an owner of a Kia. Bought a new Sportage in 2000. Since I first got it, it has made a horrendous noise that seems to be coming from the belts/pu;lleys. For almost 10 years now, I have been driving around in this car with this noise. Everywhere I go, people look to see where the noise is coming from. It’s embarassing and humiliating. Yes, I have brought this to Kia’s attention, taken it to many, many, Kia service centers, spent alot of time, money, and energy trying to get this resolved with no luck. Kia techs would tell me that there is nothing they can do – it’s a Sportage problem. They had it in the shop dozens of times with my complaint (while still under warranty) and failed to find the problem. They would put belt dressing on to quiet the noise temporarily. Had me replace belts, etc. all kinds of stuff. Finally found a Kia tech that spotted the problem as soon as he saw it/heard it. It can be fixed – to the tune of $922. Crank pulley warped! And, apparently it has caused the p. steering pump to go bad and it has to be replaced now. Despite my exhaustive efforts, Kia has refused to pay for the needed repairs. Claiming they are not responsible. “You didn’t bring it to our attention”, “We are not responsible for the techs not being able to fix it”, “It’s been too long”, “The problem does not make your car unsafe to drive or effect it’s performance so we won’t pay for it”. I have been pleading with Kia for 9 years to find the problem and fix it! Where’s the justice? I cannot afford to have it fixed and I cannot sell the car in this condition. So, tell me, how is Kia so successful when they treat their customers so poorly? We are not asking for new cars here – we just want Kia to take some responsibility.

  19. 2003 Kia Rio, 53,497 miles and the timing belt broke (not covered under the 5 star 100k warranty). Dealer wants 4k to replace engine and give me a 3 month warranty? KIA customer service is terrible…….I am ashamed to have ever bought such a piece of garbage new. I don’t hold KIA to the same standards as Honda or Toyota, but come on…..I want to send it back to the landfill of a country from which it was made!

  20. Greg, I’d like to know where you found that, because I found nothing. The dealer says 5 years or 60k…. a timing belt is alot more than typical “scheduled maintenance” on any vehicle inside of 75k. I haven’t even begun to vent my frustration because this isn’t the right forum, yet like many others I ask…..where can I get hold of someone that can help? Sure, maybe I SOL in the end, but I’m not about to roll over because of inferior design and I sure as heck will not be purchasing another one.

  21. In 5 years or 60k, it is whichever comes first. You can find timing belt in the ‘maintenance schedule’ section of your owner’s manual. Kia is not the only manufacturer to have these problems, as many manufacturers have used and STILL use a timing belt.

  22. Greg, really…..many manufacturers still use a timing belt……wow. It’s a crap belt get it? Based on other forum threads here and elsewhere I’m not the only one that believes so, I hope more consumers become aware of this problem and some of the others. I’ve never heard (nor have any of my fellow automotive co-workers) of a timing belt failure so common on any other brand/manufacture within this mileage or years, that’s all. It wasn’t top of the line, it blows all over the place in the wind on the freeway, I can live with the skimping on accesories and quality of interior, but what I was sold was how robust the warranty was, and still believe no car should ever need an engine (due to timing belt failure) that is barely 7 years old. Now I’m left with a lawn ornament. By the way, nice pull ’40k’ in your first post. I wish I had a pair of those rose colored lenses that you’re wearing.

  23. “It’s a crap belt get it?” – Yes, all timing belts are crap. My point is, NO manufacturer covers the timing belt under the warranty. So whether or not you were driving a Kia Rio or a Toyota Corrolla, etc. when the timing belt broke, you would still be SOL. Timing belts fail, that is why there is only one Kia model that still offers a timing belt – and that will be a chain by 2011. Sorry for your luck. If you don’t like Kia, go somewhere else. Besides, 2003 was back when Kia’s quality was terrible. Present day, we are in the top 10.

  24. I am considering the purchase of a 2011 Sorento. I live both in Canada and the US. I have been told by my local (US) dealer that Kia has told him that he cannot sell me a car that I will register in Canada without first registering and pay the sales tax in Washington and that he can only sell me a car because I have a US address. Another dealer in another state has said he will sell me a car with temporary plates. Kia’s customer service has told me that if I buy a car in the US and take it to Canada it will be considered a “black market vehicle” and will have no warranty anywhere. I was told by another CSR, I would have the US warranty until I brought the car to Canada, then it would be the Canadian warranty (5year – 100,000 kilometer power train), but it would revert to the American if then registered in the US subsequently. Another dealer said there would no warranty in Canada but there would be in the US if the car was brought to him for repair, but then said maybe the first CSR was right. Kia, like other manufacturers, is charging thousands more for the same car in Canada than in the US. The BC dealer said he cannot match the US pricing, that “essentially Canadians are getting hosed.” The final part of the conundrum is that the warranty issue seems to be resolved if I buy a used car. So, what to do?

  25. I purchased a top of the range Kia Sorrento XT in Feb 2007 6 months into havin it 5000 miles my turbocharger went now 2 years later serviced on 21600 miles its gone agin i am very concerned about this can anyone help or know who i can contact has it is 12 weeks out of warranty

  26. I only wish the leadership of KIA would make an effort to give some”honor” to their customers by making their dealers and reps stand behind the product, be professional, treat their customers with respect, and stop hiding from taking responsibility for the dangerous results of cost savings attempts that put the lives of US consumers in danger.

    It would also be nice if our legislators would force agencies like the NTSA to enforce KIA to actually fix the many dangerous defects kn their products and not let them off with useless service bulletins that they can pick and choose which to honor based on cost alone.

    There needs to be accountability for faulty engine control systems, fuel delivery systems, corrosion from inferior steels used kn everything from brake and fuel lines to frames and fuel tanks.

    There has been an on going internal campaign to refuse to repair the most dangerous service campaigns including leaking fuel tanks om many sportage model years from corrosion due to design flaws and improper steels used etc.

    Oddly the limits on inexpensive repairs are commonly honored, but more serious ones are refused.

    Your welcome to come to your own conclusions, but it seems obvious KIA is willing tl trade your life for some cost savings in repairing defects in their products.

    So hopefully KIA will be able to design some improved customer service and defect repair procedures in this.new design. Enter financed on the backs of their customers who have to bear the expense of repairing these defects that would be recall campaigns if LIA was an honest company.

    Also for the poster who thinks KIA is a “green” company please consider all the tens of thousands of 95-02 sportages driving around leaking thousands of gallons of gas into our environment (not to mention the possible gases released from bur.Inc vehicles.

    Shame to KIA and it’s leadership!leadership.

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