The desire for automotiveconsumer interest in SUVs and crossovers in recent years is only on the rise. Not only do consumers get some fuel efficiency benefits with space for passengers and cargo, but crossovers are becoming an ever-expanding segment in the auto industry that can tiptoe the lines between other car segments. For instance, the Kia Niro hybrid crossover looks very compact, and although a stretch, one could call it a full-size passenger vehicle. The auto industry is seeing a shift in the other direction however, with three-row crossovers and full-size SUVs. With that in mind, Kia Motors and the Hyundai Motor Group will be rolling out three-row vehicles in the following year (2020).
Back when the Kia Stinger first debuted, the vehicle won many awards before it was even released. Following the tradition, Kia Motors has yet to talk any details about when they plan to release the 2019 Kia Niro EV to the public, but in the European market, theKia Niro EV has already been named “Car of the Year”. This award came from consumer magazine and website What Car? and the Kia Niro EV, called the e-Niro in European markets, is the first Korean car to win the prestigious award.
Out of the 23 competitors during a competition in Britain, including vehicles powered by gasoline, diesel, and even hybrids, the fully-charged zero-emissions Kia came out on top. This is thanks to its high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, known for travelling up to 280 miles. That’s one of the powertrains currently set for the 2019 Kia Niro EV. An optional 39.2 kWh battery system that can travel 150 miles was also once discussed, but at the moment, it has little spotlight.
Kia Motors is currently blowing up with alternative fuel vehicles. Most recently would be the 2020 Kia Soul EV that shared center stage with the2020 Kia Soul at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. We’ve been hearing a whole heck of a lot ofgood news about the Kia Niro EV, also known as the e-Niro overseas, and are patiently waiting for it to be added to the North American lineup. Before that happens though, we’ve already received some more good news. Receiving the “Car of the Year Award” by consumer magazine and website What Car?, the Kia Niro EV is the first Korean car to win the prestigious award.
“Everyone at Kia Motors (UK) Limited and Kia Motors Corporation is honoured and delighted that the e-Niro is the first Korean car to win the What Car? Car of the Year Award…This marks an important milestone in the Awards as we approach the tipping point where every motorist will be seriously considering buying an electric car as their next car.” – Paul Philpott, President and CEO of Kia Motors UK.
The competition took place in Britain, since the vehicle has yet to make much headway with Kia Motors North America just yet. Out of 23 competitors, including vehicles powered by gasoline, diesel, and even hybrids, the fully-charged zero-emissions Kia won out over all of them. Going on sale in the UK on April 1, 2019, a release date for American sales has yet to be released, but based on the cost in euros prior to the £3,500 taxpayer-funded plug-in grant subsidy for buyers of ultra-low emission vehicles, it comes out to around $$41,000. That feels a bit steep given the Niro Plug-in Hybrid has a starting MSRP of only $28,500 (plus destination fee).
Kia Motors is sure one major auto brand that talks to the younger generations when it comes to the evolution of the automaker. One of the first vehicles to get the attention of the youth was the Kia Soul hatchback. The next was the new sports car, the Kia Stinger, currently the automaker’s new icon. Just last week, Kia Motors surprised us with its sponsorship of theeSports European Championship for popular PC game, League of Legends. Actually trying to connect with the next generation of consumers instead of designing what they think we want (Chrysler Portal *cough cough), Kia has more plans to get the winning vote of Millennials and Generation Z.
With the Super Bowl only weeks away, every major consumer and automotive brand out there will be battling to get those highly sought-after commercial spots. To continue the trend of being for the youth, Kia Motors is putting aside the tried-and-true method of overpaying a well-known celebrity to endorse their brand. This year, it’s about the kids, the future of our country.
Launching what Kia Motors calls the “The Great Unknowns Scholarship,” it’s described as a means to “help young people in need get a foothold in higher education.” It’s not something revolutionary, using an ad seen by the thousands of people watching the Super Bowl is a great way for anyone to get their name out there, for nearly any cause. Last year, Hyundai ran an ad promoting nonprofit group, Hyundai Hope on Wheels, that distributes a small portion of proceeds from every Hyundai vehicle purchased to institutions fighting childhood cancer. Kia Motors, a corporate affiliate of the Hyundai Motor Group, is doing the same this year.
Ever hear of the South Korean girl group, BLACKPINK? Maybe not, but South Korean girl bands and K-Pop groups are really becoming increasingly popular. Ever since Korean star Psy and his popular Gangnam Style music video went viral, people have been looking over east for new music stars. BLACKPINK is one of those musical groups, currently revving up for their 2019 World Tour. Kia Motors has chosen to serve as their sponsor, hence the picture above with the group posing with a Kia Stinger.
The partnership with BLACKPINK is surprisingly the first in a series of collaborations Kia will be announcing with K-Pop superstars this year (2019). As the title sponsor of the group’s World Tour, Kia Motors will hold a series of experiential events throughout the duration of the tour, some of which will give local fans a chance to meet the K-Pop stars. The World Tour runs from January 2019 on a global scale, including seven cities in Asia.
League of Legends European Championship
Kia Motors is also sponsoring a well-known event amongst PC gamers. It’s the European Championship for League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game for PC and Mac computers. Connecting with eSports and eSports fans on this level is a large win for the automaker. Video games have created a whole new community of people, and getting their attention will be a win for Kia.
Throughout 2019, Kia Motors will be creating digital content with a six video series media campaign to advertise the championship, as well as their involvement. A short promotional segment titled “Ready to Play” has already gone live. Popular faces from the League of Legends world, Romain Bigeard, Indiana ‘Froskurinn’ Black, Daniel ‘Drakos’ Drakos, Aaron ‘Medic’ Chamberlain, and Andrew ‘Vedius’ Day head out to attend the LEC in the Kia Stinger sports car.
That’s one catch phrase a PC gamer may be familiar with, especially if one of the games they play is the famous “League of Legends”. There was once a time where no one really saw a future in playing video games, much less cash-grabbing tournaments. Now, from all over the world, people put together teams and compete in League of Legends tournaments, making the game an official eSport. If the concept sounds silly, think again, because even Kia Motors is getting into eSports with a partnership with Riot Games, creator of the League of Legends PC game. The new League of Legends European Championship (LEC) needed a sponsor and Kia saw an opportunity to invest.
It’s a smart move. eSports appeal to millions, if not billions of youthful fans around the world. What better way to grab that market, the Millennials and soon generation Z, that grew up with video games and will be entering the auto market if not already? Then Kia Motors decides to not only garner interest in eSports, but decides to back one of the most popular competitive video gaming events out there, the League of Legends European Championship (LEC). That, ladies and gentlemen, is a power move.
Popping up at2018 New York Fashion Week and withfive concepts at the 2018 SEMA Auto Show, Kia has gone beyond to show that this SUV is as versatile as a crossover with plenty of personal appeal. The production-ready model isn’t the concept we were promised, but we don’t think anyone was pouring chips into seats that can “read and report the health alerts” of its occupants. Given all of the technologyKia Motors presented at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, one could say that the concept features, although not existent in the 2019 debut, may not be that far off. For now, take a look at what the 2020 Kia Telluride debut tells us about the boxy SUV at the 2019 North American International Auto Show, also known as the Detroit Auto Show.
Yes, boxy. The model body does come with its curves, but the front and rear fascia have that robust boxy shape SUVs are known for. This is especially true in the front fascia, where the iconic tiger-nose grille is very prominent in this model. A square hood, vertically stacked headlights, and inverted L-shaped taillights all bring the boxy look together. Kia is intent on calling the Telluride their “largest SUV in the lineup” and making it the new vehicle everyone is talking about.
The 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is booming, and Kia Motors previewed some of their upcoming autonomous technology in the weeks prior. Now that they’re on the floor and ready to showcase, the collection is finally complete. Designed for the post-autonomous auto market; read “once the auto market has fully embraced self-driving vehicles and it becomes the norm”; these technologies could popup in semi-autonomous or Level 3 autonomous vehicles easily. Check out everything going on below.
Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.)
R.E.A.D. is the main highlight of the Kia Motors showcase, and it’s easy to see why. This system is the backbone of many of their post-autonomous concepts. Designed to enhance the human mobility experience by optimizing cabin space and allowing the driver to do so on command would really be an upgrade. Part one was developed through a joint research alliance with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab’s Affective Computing group. In this phase, based on evaluations of the driver’s emotional state in real-time via artificial intelligence-based bio-signal recognition technology, an onboard artificially intelligent (A.I.) system can then customize the interior environment based on its assessment of mood and create a more enjoyable experience while in the vehicle. One would assume the A.I. also monitors normal driving behaviors and picks up on such when the driver’s face is “angry” or “sad” – but that’s just our theory.
The 2019 Consumer Electronics Show is taking place this week, from January 8 to 11, 2019. If not aware, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is an annual show at the Las Vegas Convention Center that showcases more than 4,500 exhibiting companies, including: manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content, technology delivery systems, and other industries. Not specialized for the automotive, it’s not a guarantee that an automaker name will show, but Kia Motors, part of the Hyundai Motor Group, show up just about every year. Last week we talked about theirReal-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.), and this week we get a peek at a new Automated Valet Parking System before the doors to the 2019 CES open.
Automated Valet Parking System
Yes, it’s just as it sounds. In the coming years, we’ll see a lot of interesting technology from the South Korean automakers, Hyundai and Kia Motors. Some of which deals with their plans to have artificial intelligence (A.I.) and autonomous vehicles on the road by 2020. Given concepts like the upcoming new Kia Telluride and their R.E.A.D. system, the use of artificial intelligence in automobiles will be designed for safety and consumer well-being. Hence their showcase at the 2019 “Consumer” Electronics Show.
What else is Hyundai and Kia bringing for the consumer? How about a way to talk to one’s car with their smartphone? We discussed thewireless electric vehicle charging system Kia Motors is developing, and in conjunction with that technology, the automaker intends to install them in parking garages. Imagine a whole level with parking spaces that act as charging stations. Drivers don’t need to wait for one to open, because with A.I. and autonomous self-driving car technology, their vehicle can find a space and charge up when available, like a cleaning robot looking for its own charging port via radar.
Kia Motors is an automotive brand that will soon become a household name. Throughout 2018, Kia developed an array of interesting technology for the automotive industry, and it seems 2019 will be no different. Already set to debut at the upcoming 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, Kia Motors will be previewing another collection of technology aimed at serving the generation of drivers in autonomous vehicles. This may be a bit unorthodox, seeing as how the industry of self-driving vehicles is still in its infancy stage, and Kia could be getting ahead of things…but maybe that’s a good thing.
Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.)
The technology popping up at the 2019 CES is for the post-autonomous driving generation. This system, R.E.A.D. is designed to enhance the human mobility experience by optimizing and personalizing the in-car cabin experience. Developed through a joint research alliance with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab’s Affective Computing group, the R.E.A.D. System is the first of its kind, capable of changing the vehicle’s cabin space based on evaluations of the driver’s emotional state in real-time via artificial intelligence-based bio-signal recognition technology. This may also share some similar features to the technology seen inearly Kia Telluride concepts.