New Kia Soul production model will retain concept's name
SEOUL May 22, 2008; Kia Motors Corporation has confirmed that its all-new production model will retain the spirit and name of the SOUL concept cars shown earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, and the first SOUL concept debuted at the 2006 North American International Auto Show. As well as confirming the name, Kia has released the first official photograph of the production car, which will be called the 'Kia Soul'.
"Reaction from the media and public to the three SOUL concept cars first unveiled at the Geneva Show in March and shown subsequently at other international events, has been overwhelmingly positive," enthused Mr. Hyoung-Keun Lee, Senior Executive Vice President and COO, International Business Division, Kia Motors Corporation. "This reaction, plus the fact that both physically and emotionally the SOUL concept cars are so closely related to the new Kia Soul production car, made it a natural choice to retain this evocative name."
"The SOUL concept cars reveal a whole new 'fun' side to Kia. They signal that our new Kia Soul production model is poised to defy convention and offer buyers a 'world of possibilities' for expressing their personality. This new model will reach out to a new group of consumers, appealing especially to the young and young-at-heart," added Mr. Lee.
The three concept cars - SOUL Burner, SOUL Diva and SOUL Searcher - were created by Kia's European design team led by Gregory Guillaume, under the guidance of Kia's Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer. They were developed from the original SOUL concept car designed jointly by Kia's California and Korea design studios and unveiled in 2006 at Detroit. Speaking about the choice of name for the original 2006 Detroit concept car, Tom Kearns, chief designer of Kia Motors America commented, "We wanted to inject some life into this car's design and give it a soul. And of course 'Soul' also is a homophone for the home city of Kia Motors headquarters, in Korea so it's a fun play on words."
Kia's Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, strongly endorsed that name choice at the Geneva Show earlier this year, commenting, "The name SOUL accurately reflects how people will be able to 'express their spirit-their psyche' with this new product. Through a variety of options, accessories and colours, they will be able to personalize their Kia Soul and create a sense of individuality, making the car a true reflection of their personality."
Looking ahead to the 2008 Paris Motor Show, Gregory Guillaume observed, "Because the new Kia Soul is not a replacement for an existing vehicle and is destined to play a unique role within the Kia global lineup, it can be a bit of a rebel! The trio of Geneva concepts were 'appetisers' for the new model introduction at Paris, and you can be certain that the new Kia Soul model will retain the core DNA of the three exciting concepts."
The all-new Kia Soul defies classification but its design will encourage customers to build an emotional bond with this rebellious new car. To be made in Korea from September 2008, Kia Soul provides a creative platform for buyers to individualise and match their car to their own personalities.
The new Kia Soul production car will make its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show October 2008.
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.com) -- a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart -- 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. More than 1.4 million vehicles a year are produced in 14 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 165 countries. Kia today has over 40,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of almost US$17 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup. Kia is an official automotive partner of FIFA -- the governing body of the FIFA World Cup -- as well as a EUROTOP partner of UEFA. Kia Motors Corporation's brand slogan -- "The Power to Surprise" -- represents the company's global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.