Kia Motors is one of the main winners in the first-ever Automotive Brand Contest. This new international brand and design competition was organised by the Rat für Formgebung (German Design Council), which is also responsible for the Designpreis der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (German Design Award). The judging panel of the first Automotive Brand Contest declared Kia Motors the worthy winner in two categories. In the Brand Design category, where strategy and focus of the brand’s overall design is rated, Kia was ranked ‘Best of Best’. For the Exterior category, in which the design of the vehicle itself is the centre of attention, three Kia models were picked as winners: the compact Sportage CUV, the forthcoming Rio B-segment model (on sale from Fall 2011 in most global markets) and the all-new, athletic D-segment Kia Optima sedan. The Kia Optima and Kia Sportage have already been awarded prestigious design prizes: the red dot award (Kia Optima: ‘best of the best’) and the iF product design award.
“We are all exceedingly proud that Kia Motors has done so well in this new competition, which is very important within the automotive industry,” says Kia’s Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer. “By changing our basic design focus, we have given our brand a face, a distinctive identity. “The ‘Best of Best’ title for Kia’s new design identity in the Brand Design category is a great endorsement of the creative and professional work done by our entire international design team. The latest awards conferred on the Sportage and Optima, and the very first one to go to our latest model, the Rio, reflect the continuity of our efforts to uphold our own high design standards. All four awards are a fantastic acknowledgement of our strategy to position design as a core Kia brand promise,” adds Schreyer.
Three Kia award winning models: design that points to the future
The fourth-generation Kia Rio, which celebrated its world premiere at the 2011 Geneva International Motor Show, is not a further development of its predecessor, but a powerful new personality in its own right. By clearly moving away from its past, the new B-segment model epitomizes Kia’s transformation to a design and quality-led brand. The wedge-shaped profile and sleek side windows lend the newcomer dynamic flair, while the balance between window graphics, wheelbase and the vehicle’s overall proportions creates a ‘premium’ impression rarely found in this segment. Developed with the global market in mind, the Rio will be available in Europe in both three-door and five-door bodystyles, with four-door and five-door bodystyles offered in most other markets.
The newly developed Kia Optima is a model that bears no resemblance to the brand’s earlier D-segment vehicles. Peter Schreyer headed the design of the athletic sedan at the Kia design centres in Frankfurt, Germany and Irvine, USA. Immediately following its launch in the Korean market in mid-2010, the Kia Optima topped the D-segment sales chart there – the first Kia model ever to do so. With its third-generation of the Sportage, Kia has given the popular compact CUV a complete makeover. The Sportage combines all the key off-road features – raised ground clearance, commanding driving position and heightened sense of security – with a sleek and urban-friendly design. In Europe, the most eco-friendly version, the Sportage 1.7 CRDi 2WD featuring a start/stop system, achieves a CO2 emissions rating of just 135 g/km.
Winners to be presented at IAA motor show in Frankfurt
The Rat für Formgebung (German Design Council), organiser of the newly instituted Automotive Brand Contest, was founded in 1953 as an initiative of the German Federal Parliament, and today counts among the world’s leading centers of excellence for communication and knowledge transfer in the field of design. Among the patrons of this independent institution are 170 companies from both Germany and abroad. With its competitions, such as Designpreis Deutschland (Germany’s highest official design award), its exhibitions, as well as its conferences, seminars and workshops, the German Design Council’s purpose is to spread the word about good industrial design to a broad public. The Automotive Brand Contest is open to all companies in the automobile industry and their partners, in the supply industry and in the fields of design and brand communications. This first year’s winners of the new competition will be presented with their awards at the IAA in Frankfurt on Automotive Designers’ Night, 13 September 2011 (first press day).