Kia Debuts Rear Occupant Alert System

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Kia Motors has made a lot of technological advancements in recent years. At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, Kia Motors was diving into artificial intelligence and adding smart devices to vehicles. Recently, Kia Motors decided to test its own intelligent personal agent on their overseas model, the Kia Seltos. Kia Motors always likes to test new tech on a popular vehicle, they did the same with the Kia Niro hybrid crossover, soon responding with the Kia Niro plug-in hybrid. As for their newest development in technology, well…necessity is the mother of invention but parents should not need this. From Kia Motors, it’s the Rear Occupant Alert (ROA) system.

Yes, it’s a thing. Rear Occupant Alert systems have been slowly creeping up into automobiles over the last few years. It seems like not too long ago LATCH, also known as Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, were once a thing of the past. In fact, it wasn’t until 2002 that this nifty invention started popping up in cars to make it easier to install car seats for small children. ROA systems are another nifty feature popping up in cars, but again, really shouldn’t be necessary.

What kind of mother forgets her child in the backseat of her vehicle? We don’t know, and we don’t recommend it, especially with these hot South Florida summers. How many times do we need to warn against heat stroke? It’s sad that it’s come to this. People are so wired into their smartphones and other devices that they forget their sleepy children are in the car.

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Kia Motors Produces 3 Million Units in the U.S.

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Wow, it feels like it was just yesterday that Kia Motors and the Hyundai Motor Group as a whole hit a large milestone of selling one million hybrid electric vehicles worldwide. That’s quite the accomplishment, having sold exactly 1,007,838 units after a large success in sales during the first half of 2019 with 117,109 units sold. A lot of their success came from overseas in their homeland of South Korea, but here in America, there are plenty of fans of Kia Motors. Out of the one million hybrids sold, the Kia Niro, the first-ever hybrid crossover in the world, has sold 318,917 units since its launch in 2017. 2019 must be a year of milestones for Kia Motors, because here in the states, Kia Motors has produced its three millionth vehicle.

It all goes back to 2009. In an effort to increase production and sales, Kia Motors invested more than $1.1 billion the Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) manufacturing plant. The plant began mass production on Nov. 16, 2009, and today, KMMG produces more than 40-percent of all Kia Motors vehicles sold in the United States. That’s some foothold.

“Producing three million vehicles in less than 10 years is another example of the commitment and results of the KMMG Team’s ‘One System, One Team’ philosophy…The world-class quality that goes into every Telluride, Sorento and Optima we build is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of our team members, and today we salute their commitment to excellence.” – KMMG President and CEO Jangsoo (Jason) Shin

KMMG will celebrate its tenth anniversary of production in late 2019, celebrating a decade of serving Kia Motors. Even better, KKMG is a large part of Kia Motors’ history. The Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) is the first manufacturing site in North America for Kia Motors Corporation. Based in South Korea, going global is always hard for an automaker, but with an annual capacity of 340,000 units, KMMG has helped make it happen. KMMG is known as the home to the Sorento SUV, the Optima mid-size sedan, and the Telluride SUV.

Known as the automakers’ largest SUV, the 2020 Kia Telluride spearheaded Kia Motors sales during its release in March 2019. It only makes sense then that the three millionth vehicle KMMG finishes production on is none other than a white 2020 Telluride SX Prestige. It rolled off the assembly line in West Point, Georgia early-mid September 2019.

In case the name didn’t give it away, no “SX Prestige” isn’t a special trim of the lineup. The 2020 Kia Telluride SX is the high-end trim of the SUV lineup, but Prestige is an add-on package consumers can choose. Someone must have ordered a Telluride with the Prestige package for the three millionth unit, and we can’t blame them. The SX Prestige Package includes a number of lovely add-ons. These include: Active On-Demand AWD with AWD lock and snow mode, Nappa leather seating, a head-up display, heated and cooled second-row seating, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a 110-volt home power outlet inverter, and a premium headliner and pillars with cloth.

Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Features like Nappa leather, a heated steering wheel, and heated and cooled second-row seats definitely help the 2020 Kia Telluride stand out as one of the most comfortable SUVs out on the market. Want to find your own? Come to Miami Lakes Kia and take the 2020 Kia Telluride for a test-drive today.

Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Media
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Kia and Hyundai Invest in IONITY for a Holding Stake

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Just like many other automakers that have been making investments with companies that focus strictly on electric vehicle technology and self-driving autonomous car tech, Kia Motors and the Hyundai Motor Group also know a good investment when the opportunity arises, and their latest deals with a leading EV fast charging technology company based in Munich – IONITY. By making a strategic investment, Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors have secured a 20-percent stake in the company. Under the contract agreement, Kia and Hyundai, affiliated automotive companies for Hyundai Motor Group (the Group), will be able to play a key role in further enhancing the availability of EV charging stations as well as adding more benefits for EV consumers.

IONITY is a joint venture established in 2017 between BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company, and Volkswagen Group with Porsche AG. Since its formation, over 100 EV charging stations have installed in Europe, and 50 more are in construction this year (2019). IONITY is most well-known for its technological advancements, namely technology IONITY developed with a charging capacity of up to 350 kilowatts. Using technology already in place, a universal charging standard Combined Charging System, this technology has the widest possible compatibility across EVs.

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Kia Motors Connects with Millions of eSports Fans

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“FOR DEMACIA!!!”

Yes, we’re back again, talking a little about Kia Motors and their involvement with the League of Legends European Championship (LEC). The LEC needed a sponsor and Kia Motors saw a great opportunity to add another investment in eSports to their portfolio. That’s right, Kia Motors has also played their hand in eSports when they sponsored Counter Logic Gaming’s Rocket League team in the past, the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the 2019 Australian Open. For the first time, the League of Legends European Championship Summer Finals 2019 is taking place in Athens, and with Kia Motors Corp sponsoring the event, they took the exposure to connect with millions of eSports fans.

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New Electric Scooter Coming from Kia Motors and the Hyundai Motor Group

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Ever been on an electric scooter? Not the motorbike, but the one-person device, like a motor-powered kick scooter. Rental services that allow people to get around via electric scooter are quickly spreading across the states. From California to North Florida, people can rent an electric scooter and get from point A to point B. Well, with all the new alternative fuel technology, automakers were quick to ask, “Who could cash in on this first?” The Hyundai Motor Group was quick to answer the call. Building on a concept the automobile group presented at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, the Hyundai Motor Group reveals a personal electric scooter capable of a 20 km range.

Now, at first, it’s going to sound a little weird. This new model by the Hyundai Motor Group comes with rear-wheel drive, a highly-capable lithium battery, and stylish front and rear lights. Sounds like the description of an automobile, but it’s really just the one-person electric scooter, just upgraded. Increasing safety, the new 2019 model is able to shift from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive to keep the scooter stable by shifting weight to the rear when needed. In addition, engineers added suspension to the front wheel for a smoother ride on various surfaces.

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Kia Motors Tests Intelligent Personal Agent on Seltos

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Kia Motors claimed that the automaker would be offering artificial intelligence (A.I.), or at the very least smart devices in their vehicles by the end of 2019, 2020. So far, we haven’t seen any inclination of this since 2018, when Kia Motors announced a new contract with SoundHound, a speech and audio recognition company working on voice-recognition technologies. With all the talk about the Kia Seltos and its success, as usual, Kia Motors intends to test new technology on an already successful model. The automaker did the same, testing possibly the first phase of their separate sound zone technology in the Kia Telluride after the SUV spearheaded sales in March 2019.

Kia Motors, through the Hyundai Motor Group which it’s a part of, has a contract with SoundHound. Through this contract, the three are working on creating an Intelligent Personal Agent, or a smart device, but for automobiles. Like a smart device, the IPA (hah) can make suggestions and offer consumers remote control of both their car and home. SoudnHound even has a retail market device that is basically an Amazon Alexa clone, so nothing ground-breaking just yet.

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Kia Forte and Kia Soul on U.S. News Cars for Teen Lists

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The Kia name isn’t unfamiliar to U.S. News & World Report. In 2018, two Kia Motors hybrids, the 2018 Kia Niro and 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid, were listed on the U.S. News & World Report’s list of best hybrids on the auto market today. They were named around the same time the 2018 Kia Stinger was named as one of the “Best Four-Door Sports Cars”, also by U.S. News. The 2018 Kia Sorento was named one of the quietest SUVs by U.S. News & World Report later in 2018. Now in 2019, U.S. News returns with good news for Kia Motors about the Kia Forte and Kia Soul.

A little review, U.S. News & World Report is a respected piece of literature that is a recognized leader in college, grad school, hospital, mutual fund, and car rankings. They cover a wide range of subjects, automotive being one of them, and publish news, opinion, consumer advice, rankings, and analysis across such subjects to inform the consumer market. Throughout the year, like other well-known car research websites – Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and Cars.com come to mind – U.S. News & World Report puts together lists of their chosen best of in a variety of categories.

Recently, U.S. news & World Report put together lists for the “Best Cars for Teens #25k to $30k” and “Best SUV for Teens $25k to $30k”. Vehicles were evaluated based on a number of variables, including predicted reliability ratings, crash test scores, and available advanced driver assistance features. With more teen drivers entering the roadways every day, making sure they are safe and practice safe driving behavior is as important as ever. However, sometimes a first car comes with a tight budget, and that’s why U.S. News puts these lists together.

The 2019 Kia Forte was named on the “Best Car for Teens $25k to $30k” list, and the 2020 Kia Soul “Best SUV for Teens $25k to $30k.” list. The Forte was heralded for its reliability the numerous Kia Drive Wise advanced driver assistance technologies it offers drivers. Alongside this, the Forte provides the driver and passengers with a comfortable cabin and numerous standard modern technologies like an eight-inch touchscreen and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The Kia Soul is known for many things, and safety is one of them. Also featuring next-gen infotainment and technology standard across the lineup, including a seven-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, the Soul offers available Kia Drive Wise technology and earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating.

“We are honored that Forte and Soul took the top spot in their respective segments…These wins reflect Kia’s ‘Give It Everything’ spirit, the commitment to deliver world-class vehicles that stand out from the competition with a plethora of standard equipment, industry-leading warranty and outstanding craftsmanship.” – Orth Hedrick, executive director, Car Planning & Technology, Kia Motors America.

When it comes to finding the right car for teen drivers, safety should always be in mind. Kids today are so easily distracted, having a car with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can help keep them off their phone and focused on the road. Infotainment systems like UVO, available in Kia Motors vehicles, can help them keep their hands on the wheel. Find a safe Kia Motors vehicle like the new Kia Forte and Kia Soul at Miami Lakes Kia.

Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Media
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Kia Forte and Cadenza Named by AutoPacific as VSA Segment Winners

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Kia Motors is one automaker that is celebrated by many large names in the auto industry. The Kia Forte recently shined on the 2019 J.D. Power APEAL Study, and Kia Motors models like the Kia Telluride are recognized by the IIHS for their safety. As the 2019 model year comes to a close and we get closer to the year 2020, more big names that make up an integral part of automotive research for consumers will start to come out of the woodwork with their lists and awards for the best of the best. One of these names is none other than AutoPacific, having recently announced the 2019 Vehicle Satisfaction Award Winners. Two Kia models make the cut.

“Kia continues to position itself as a leader in design, quality, technology and value, and the AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are positive proof that we’re developing world-class products that exceed customer expectations…With Forte and Cadenza winning their categories, Kia has proved it’s delivering exactly what buyers want in their vehicles, whether it’s a compact commuter vehicle or a larger, more luxurious sedan.” – Michael Cole, chief operating officer and executive vice president, Kia Motors America. 

The Kia Forte has been a spectacle as of late, also named recently by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best cars for teens due to its Kia Drive Wise features. An award-winning sedan, the 2019 Kia Forte was named a segment winner in the 2019 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSA), having outranked some of its toughest rivals in the compact car segment. The Kia Forte isn’t alone though. Alongside the sedan, the 2019 Kia Cadenza was a segment winner in the 2019 VSA, beating the competition in the large car category.

Don’t just take the word of a AutoPacific for it. Although a future-oriented automotive marketing research and product-consulting firm with expertise in market research, product development, product and market planning and marketing, the voice of the consumer will always make the difference. AutoPacific’s VSA winners are identified based on more than 50,000 responses from owners of 2018 and 2019 model year cars and light duty pickup trucks. The VSA measures how satisfied an owner is with their new vehicle as they rate it across numerous attributes from how the vehicle influenced their purchase decision and how satisfied they are with the vehicle after purchase. The 2019 VSA measured owner satisfaction of a vehicle purchased between September 2018 through December 2018. Over 30 separate attributes were evaluated via the survey responses, ranging from the interior comfort and styling of a vehicle to its fuel economy and performance.

The Kia Forte is such a strong contender in the auto market today, Kia Motors has used it as one of the flagship models for their new Kia GT-Line, the Kia Forte GT. When it comes to driving around in luxury, the Kia Cadenza’s premium design and long list of unexpected high-class amenities earned it some high marks during the study. It’s pretty clear the Kia Motors has a little something for everyone when it comes to vehicle and customer satisfaction. You can find the Kia Forte and other award-winning Kia models at Miami Lakes Kia.

Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Media
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Two Kia Models Named Eligible for 2019 NACTOY Awards

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To think we’re in the third quarter of the year already. It feels like only yesterday that we were celebrating the amazing debut if the 2020 Kia Soul and the 2020 Kia Soul EV at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Now, only a few months away (August 2019), the 2019 LA Auto Show in November is already causing excitement in the automotive industry. Ever hear of the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards? Treated as the most prestigious and unique awards in the industry, the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) only reviews the best the industry has to offer. A list of only 46 models eligible for the 2020 awards was named, made up of 19 cars, 22 utilities and five trucks from 23 different automotive brands. Kia has been named in two of those categories, with the 2020 Kia Soul eligible for the “Car of the Year” award and the 2020 Kia Telluride eligible for the “Utility of the Year” award.

What Do You Mean “Eligible”?

Yes, that term has popped up more than once, and there is a reason we saw the 2020 Kia Soul and 2020 Kia Telluride are eligible for their respective awards. When it comes to the NACTOY awards, car models ranging from those with mass market appeal to niche groups such as luxury vehicles and work trucks. To be considered for the list each year, a vehicle must be an all-new model, or still early in its production run, as well as being available at dealerships before the end of the year (2019). Past that, to be considered for the final round, models have to get past a panel of 50 jurors.

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Can the Kia Seltos Make the Drive to America?

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We’ve said it before, and nothing has changed. Yes, the Kia Seltos is already doing well overseas in the automaker’s home country of South Korea, but there is still no word about whether or not the new compact SUV will make its way overseas. The Kia Motors America lineup doesn’t have much in the sense of that particular car segment. The Kia Niro hybrid and its counterparts are crossovers and the Kia Soul is more of a hatchback than anything. With how well the compact SUV is doing, maybe the Kia Seltos will break into the North American market. Regardless, it’s all anyone can talk about, and some test drives have given a more in-depth look at what the Seltos could bring to an already thick market.

The Purr of the Engine

We already know the mechanical specs of the Kia Seltos, equipped with a familiar 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. Able to generate 175 horsepower, it’s not much to boast, but Kia Motors has its own lineup in the works for high-performance cars known as the Kia Motors GT-Line. With the engine paired to a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission provides a smooth transition between gears and although the engine won’t roar, it provides the agility of a jungle car when it comes to merging between lanes and driving down the highway.

Riding on 18-inch wheels, the SUV handles bumpy roads, and its 103.5-inch wheelbase helps to keep it sturdy and provide a comfortable ride. To give some form of reference, the Kia Seltos is two inches longer than the Soul and about three shorter than the Niro, so it perfectly fits somewhere in between to fill the current gap Kia Motors has when it comes to a small SUV that isn’t quite a crossover. Plus, with available all-wheel drive and a center locking differential, this is a vehicle built with chops.

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