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Kia Corp may be going through some changes as of late, but one thing that definitely isn’t changing is its commitment to the community. Kia America especially, keeping in touch with the younger demographic that will eventually take over the market. Not only this, but Kia America has a strong partnership in the sports demographic and has even expanded to eSports through its sponsorship of the European League of Legends Championship. Another large name Kia America has partnered up with is the National Basketball Association (NBA), and recently, the two parties announced the multiyear extension of their ongoing exclusive marketing partnership, officially for 15 years now.
“Over the last three decades both Kia and the NBA have grown in stature and relevance and the significant growth enjoyed by both brands is due, in part, to our long-standing partnership…We are excited to further extend this relationship and strengthen it with the inclusion of the WNBA and NBA G League, which will provide even more basketball fans a courtside seat not only to all the action between the baselines, but also to Kia’s transformative shift toward electrification and sustainable mobility.” – Russell Wager, vice president, marketing, Kia America
The partnership may be 15 years old, but the NBA league has a story that spans over decades, celebrating the 75th Anniversary Season with the first game in October 2021. Kia America is the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and NBA G League, and is the official vehicle for the league. During the NBA Playoffs presented by Google Pixel, NBA All-Star Game, NBA Finals presented by YouTube TV and the NBA Draft presented by State Farm, a Kia vehicle will be in the spotlight when it comes to the automotive market. In addition to its commitment to the existing NBA platforms the automaker supports, Kia America will also be playing a role during the end-of-season performance awards as the title partner for the Kia NBA G League. This makes Kia an Official Partner of Summer League and the title partner of the NBA’s seven All-NBA teams. In addition, building on its commitment to women’s sports and the WNBA partnership, Kia will also serve as the title partner of the Kia WNBA monthly awards and Kia WNBA end-of-season performance awards.
Basically, this partnership renewal is a big deal.
For those that don’t know, Kia also has partnerships with 13 teams currently active in the NBA. Do you see your favorite team on the roster? Kia works with the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns. As the 75th Anniversary Season continues to kick things off – or is it a dribble? – Kia will also be able to enhance its brand presence throughout the NBA calendar, plus new marketing campaigns, sweepstakes and activities that will get fans engaged to build mutual interest. Such programming will be ongoing from the Kia NBA Tip-Off through the NBA Finals presented by YouTube TV.
Keep up with all the action and what Kia America is up to when you follow us on Miami Lakes Automall social media.
Photo Source/Copyright: Kia
Now that March 2021 has passed and the first quarter is over, many automakers are reporting their sales, and a lot of good news is going on compared with last year and the hit many in the industry took after the initial COVID-19 shutdown. Two years ago, the Kia Telluride was released in the first quarter of 2019, and this SUV spearheaded the sales for Kia Motors, making March 2019 the best first quarter performance for Kia Motors since 2016. Kia Motors sold 55,814 vehicles, with the all-new Telluride SUV making up about a tenth of those sales, with 5080 units sold. With the release of the Seltos, K5, Sorento, Carnival MPV in 2020 and 2021, sales have blown through the roof with 66,523 vehicles sold in March.
“After outpacing the industry last year, Kia is on the move again in 2021 and setting sales records as more new customers discover the world-class design and quality built into every one of our sporty sedans and capable SUVs…The successful launches of the all-new Sorento and Carnival have added to the momentum established by the Telluride and helped push the Kia brand to new heights with even greater potential for future growth.” – Sean Yoon, president and CEO of Kia Motors North America
Kia Motors has been pretty busy in recent years, and although COVID-19 hit the auto industry hard, the automaker came back swinging. Alongside purpose-built vehicles, Kia Motors has also jumped into investments with Aurora Innovation, and started several joint ventures with EV startups, like CODE42.ai to revolutionize the way electric vehicles work today. Part of the Hyundai Motor Group, Kia Motors is always getting in on the ground floor of new ventures and benefits from the results, like the MoceanLab development, working on self-driving electric vehicle fleets as a new ride-hailing service. One problem automakers have faced since the dawn of electric vehicles (EVs) was the development and production of EV batteries and how they impact the ecosystem. The Hyundai Motor Group enters into a collaboration with SK Innovation Co. to design new forms of battery management service and battery reuse and recycling, as well as improve the image of EV batteries in the industry.
Kia Motors, and the Hyundai Motor Group overall, have been in talks of developing and producing purpose-built vehicles (PBVs) in the coming years. Although PBVs sound very interesting concepts, automated Chinese takeout delivery vans, revolutionary for the food truck industry, but also mobile hubs for social gatherings. However, after the pandemic, social distancing is still recommended and the Coronavirus is still going to affect people over the coming months, maybe years. Even with the first PBVs designed to help with patients’ transportation and delivery services, along with other medical needs, we may not want to hold our breath.
Kia Motors’ new Design Chief Karim Habib spoke with Car Magazine about the future design of vehicles. Before the pandemic hit, the auto industry was working towards an ecosystem of mobility where everyone and anyone could get access to private or public transportation. Instead, private may be the way to go, with people less likely to risk their or their family’s health by having a lot of people in a car at once, which could greatly affect SUV sales. With many fit to seat more than five people at once, social distancing is impossible, and anyone stressed about getting infected might be in for an uncomfortable trip.
“We’re going to have talks with psychologists and anthropologists to really understand how the public’s psyche is going to be in future…There are things we’ve already been talking about: can we have anti-viral coatings in our interiors? Can you use temperature or ultraviolet light to sanitize surfaces? These are things that we will have to think about rather soon. So, yes – Covid-19 will very much influence the way we design our cars in future.” – Habib told Car Magazine
Last month, we talked about the many developments coming from Kia Motors, PBVs included, but the automaker is also discussing shifting to the development of sedans, or vehicles made to seat less than 5 passengers. It may sound a little crazy, especially given all of the success of the Kia Telluride. The Telluride is Kia Motors largest SUV and won many awards – the Kia Telluride even won the Triple Crown of Automotive awards, winning the 2020 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year from North American Car of the Year (NACTOY); MotorTrend SUV of the Year; and landing on a Car and Driver 10 Best list. The Kia Seltos is also a strong contender when it comes to the larger vehicles, although the latter seats only five.
In late May, Kia Motors announced a new plan. With sedans like the Kia Stinger getting a mid-cycle refresh and a growing GT line from Kia Motors, the shift might lead to even smaller cars. Micro EVs may be next on the menu if trends prove to be worrisome for larger vehicles in the coming years. Consumers are concerned about the spread of germs and auto manufacturers are finding ways to tackle the spread of viruses, going so far as to design interior surfaces with virus-resisting materials, such as copper. However, overhauling the design for vehicles could cost automakers even more problems to deal with. Perhaps just focusing on smaller designs may be the better plan.
What do you think? Would you rather smaller cars with the way the world is handling the pandemic or do you still prefer your larger car? Let us know on Miami Lakes Kia social media.
Photo Source/Copyright: carmagazine.co.uk
It wasn’t that long ago we were talking about the Kia Stinger sports car getting a mid-cycle refresh. Although still fairly new, a performance car wasn’t what many would expect from Kia Motors, an automaker with a focus on safety and alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles. The Kia Stinger proved to be an award-winning vehicle, with the first few rounds of deliveries disappearing from dealership lots in days. This sports car was even faster and more affordable than many high-end luxury sports cars. We’re not sure what happened, but a refresh is in the mix, and tweaks for the new 2021 Kia Stinger GT are already popping up in spy shots.
Automakers are always tight-lipped when it comes to new and upcoming products. Not only does one want to avoid unnecessary competition with a new project but confirming many features and then not delivering is a sore-spot for consumers in the auto market. The 2020 Kia Telluride is a perfect example of that. When first greenlit as a concept, the Kia Telluride had oodles of cool technology. And yet, not much of that cool technology made it into the final Kia Telluride SUV, although the Telluride is clearly an award-winner of its own, having won the “Triple Crown of Automotive Awards” in 2019.
The 2021 Kia Seltos is starting to break into the North American auto market by entering the Entry SUV segment with modern styling and a mood for adventure. During the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, Kia Motors shared the good news that the Seltos would join the already robust North American lineup with a look at some of the U.S. specs. The Kia Seltos offers plenty of great options, but we were waiting on a PR from the automaker for the real deal on what we can expect. Prayers have been answered, because the latest press release from Kia Motors gives us a full look inside and out on what the 2021 Kia Seltos will bring to the market.
Engineering Done Right
Engineered to satisfy both driver and passengers, multiple elements have been fine-tuned to ensure a rich experience when riding or driving the Kia Seltos. Two engine options will be made available for the 2021 model year, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder MPI engine will come standard on the LX, S and EX trims. Capable of producing 146 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque, this engine is paired with an Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). If looking for a little boost, the 2021 Kia Seltos S (option) and SX trims come with a 1.6-liter Turbo GDI engine under the hood, capable of generating 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT).
Kia Motors has a lot going for it in terms of its product lineup and developing technology. A part of the Hyundai Motors Group, whatever automotive endeavors Hyundai becomes involved in, Kia Motors is right there with them. It’s kind of like a competitive partnership, and it’s exciting, to say the least whenever a new project takes shape. MoceanLab, the home base for a self-driving carsharing pilot program, is the stepping stone to creating a personal mobility ecosystem. During the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, we saw even more of this with the partnership with Uber to debut an air taxi service. The latest journey for these two automakers is a partnership with Canoo to co-develop an all-new all-electric platform for future electric vehicles.
Could it be the powertrain for the upcoming Kia Futuron concept? Set to be Kia Motors first all-electric vehicle – as in the first vehicle to be released as a stand-alone electric vehicle (EV) and didn’t have an internal combustion engine or hybrid or plug-in hybrid model before it. It’s part of Kia Motors statement to eventually become an all-electric automaker despite their testament to sports cars with GT trims. The Kia Futuron is just a concept for now, and if waiting for the right powertrain, this development with Canoo could be it.
Kia Motors has done well to keep the new 2021 Kia Sorento tightly under wraps. A prototype of the new SUV was caught on camera by the paparazzi of the automobile industry and lucky passerby on the street, but with heavy camouflage, it was hard to get a good look at the 2021 Kia Sorento prototype. Based on these spy shots, some artists took a jab at building a 3D render of the new Kia Sorento, but nothing was certain. Well now we know for sure what the new SUV looks like, and we like what we see. Thanks to some car photos leaked and circling the internet (mainly found on Instagram/onecar.1, we have a clear look at the front and rear fascia of the 2021 Kia Sorento, and some images of the interior have also been released overseas.
The new 2021 Kia Sorento is said to make its official debut some time in mid-February 2020 in Korea. If this is so, then there’s a very good chance that the Kia Sorento will make its European premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show in March 2020. Whenever Kia Motors releases a model on a global scale, a North American model is quick to follow, and we’re sure we’ll learn the U.S. specs soon after the debut of the European model.
When the 2020 Kia Seltos first made its appearance overseas, it was unclear if the new crossover from Kia would make it to North America. After all, many automakers tend to release vehicles in their home country that are never made available in the North American market, or just not the U.S. There were a lot of interesting configurations and much more potential for the Seltos in the Indian market, and with the already large selection of SUVs and crossovers Kia Motors has in the U.S. market, it didn’t seem necessary. Well, after the 2019 LA Auto Show commenced, Kia announced that yes, the Kia Seltos will be added to its growing lineup in the North American market. During the show, we also finally got a look at some of the U.S. specs.
2020 Kia Seltos U.S. Specs
Thankfully when vehicles come stateside, their lineup is trimmed down and configured to what those consumers look for. The 2020 Kia Seltos in the Indian market comes with a number of trims, eight in total, each with another variation depending on the engine choice and transmission. Consumers in America still get plenty of choices, but it’s more standardized. The U.S. Kia Seltos will come in five trim levels with two engine options and the choice of a front- or all-wheel drivetrain.
The powertrain choices are of course different, now with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as the standard, able to generate 146 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. Standard on the 2020 Kia Seltos will also be a continuously variable transmission. The torque may seem like a smaller number in comparison with the Indian market Seltos, able to generate 184 lb-ft of torque with a 115-horsepower 1.5-liter diesel engine, but don’t fret. A smaller, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is the next option up on the 2020 Kia Seltos U.S. list of powertrains, and this little turbo can generate up to 175 hp and 195 lb-ft. It’s also tied to a dual-clutch transmission.
Sneaking past us at the end of September was a new joint venture partnership between the Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv, a global technology company dedicated to developing safer, greener, and more connected solutions for the future of mobility. As we all know, anything that the Hyundai Motor Group becomes a part of directly translates to Kia Motors, an automaker under the Hyundai Motors umbrella. The agreement between Hyundai Motor Group and Aptive is a 50-50 split, valued at a total of USD 4 billion, will be working towards what they call a global autonomous driving ecosystem.
“The new joint venture marks the start of a journey with Aptiv toward our common goal of commercializing autonomous driving…The combined capabilities of Aptiv, a leading global technology company, and our Group, a global OEM, will create invaluable synergy to lead the autonomous driving landscape.” – Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman, Hyundai Motor Group
The partnership we’re watching take flight is between one of the industry’s most innovative vehicle technology providers and one of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers. By working together, the aim of the joint venture is to design, develop, and commercialize SAE Level 4 and 5 autonomous technologies to further the partners’ leadership position in a growing market of autonomy and artificial intelligence. With each company having a 50-percent stake, Aptiv will be contributing its autonomous driving technology, intellectual property, and approximately 700 employees focused on the development of scalable autonomous driving solutions amounting to USD 2 billion. The Hyundai Motor Group is investing their portion, and Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and Hyundai Mobis will collectively contribute USD 1.6 billion at closing and the remaining USD 0.4 billion in vehicle engineering services, R&D resources, and access to intellectual property.