Kia Motors and Australian Open set to surprise in 2006
- Kia enters fifth years as major sponsor of Australian Open
- Five completely redesigned or face-lift models and one all new vehicle to be introduced in 2006
(SEOUL) January 16, 2006 -- Kia Motors Corporation is proud to enter its fifth year as a major sponsor of the Australian Open grand slam tennis tournament. The Australian Open and Kia Motors have grown hand-in-hand over the years, with both enjoying booming worldwide popularity.
Australian Open Chief Executive Paul McNamee said, "There is still a genuine buzz around after the success of our Centenary tournament (in 2005) which exceeded all expectations. The upgraded facilities at this world class venue, and new City Entrance, take spectator access and comfort to new levels.”
Likewise, Kia Motors has made tremendous strides in the design, quality, safety and convenience of its product line-up that have helped boost the profile of the Kia brand to all-new heights and resulted in numerous accolades and awards. Both the Opirus D-segment luxury sedan (also known as the Amanti in some markets) and Sportage SUV recently received highest scores in their segments in the US-based J.D. Power and Associates 2005 APEAL Study, which measured new-vehicle buyers’ delight with design, content, layout and performance. Also, the all-new B-segment Rio recently was chosen as winner of the prestigious ‘Autobest 2006’ by an influential jury of comprised of top Eastern European automotive journalists.
Such recognition clearly shows Kia’s commitment to producing vehicles that are in tune with modern aesthetics as well as tailored toward different regional tastes and needs. And with an aggressive plan to launch 13 new models between 2005 and 2010, Kia is poised to continue its recent success. The year 2006 will see the world premieres of the facelift versions of the Sorento SUV, D-segment Oprius (Amanti) and C-segment Cerato (Spectra) as well as the completely redesigned short-body Carnival (Sedona) MPV and Carens compact MPV. Furthermore, the long-awaited new compact vehicle (codenamed ‘ED’) designed specifically for the European market and to be produced at Kia’s new plant in Slovakia (grand opening scheduled for December 2006) will also make its world premiere in the fall of 2006.
According to Yong-Hwan Kim, Senior Executive Vice President and COO of Kia Motors, “As Kia’s flagship sports marketing event, the Australian Open played an integral role in helping to show that Kia Motors does indeed have ‘The Power to Surprise.’ We would like to convey our best wishes to all of the tournament organizers, players and fans and we look forward to many more years of what has become a mutually gratifying partnership.”
Along with Australian Open, Kia Motors has also sponsored the Davis Cup -- the largest annual international team competition in sport -- since 2003 to represent another step in aligning the Kia brand with the sport of tennis.
By reinforcing Kia’s new brand identity -- ‘exciting & enabling’ -- Kia Motors aims to reposition the brand to target adventurous and young-at-heart customers while becoming a respected global automotive player. In line with this new brand identity, Kia Motors also sponsors the Asian X Games -- an increasingly popular event among the region’s young generation.
In March of 2004, Kia Motors reached an agreement with FIFA, the governing body for one of the world’s greatest sporting events -- the FIFA World Cup -- to become one of six official FIFA partners with Hyundai Motors and the beneficiary of the highest level of association with FIFA, which includes limited rights for the 2006 World Cup and extensive sponsorship rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cups as well as all other FIFA events, exclusive marketing assets, increased media exposure and an affiliation with the governing body’s special events and development initiatives.
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com) -- one of the fastest growing automakers in the world -- was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world’s premier automotive brands. Kia’s 12 manufacturing and assembly operations in 7 countries produce more than 1.1 million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 160 countries. Kia today has over 32,500 employees and annual revenues of over $15 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan -- “The Power to Surprise” -- represents the company’s global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.