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iF Design Awards Go To Kia Sportage and To Optima - VIDEO ENHANCED

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2011 Kia Optima (top) and Sportage

• Latest additions to Kia’s line-up recognized for their design quality, workmanship, innovativeness, eco-friendliness, ergonomics and safety

• Official presentation ceremony to take place on the first day of CeBIT (1 March 2011)

SEE ALSO: Kia Buyers Guide

SEOUL - December 6, 2010: Kia Motors has emerged as a double winner following the announcement of the iF product design awards for 2011, receiving the prestigious design prize for the all-new Sportage compact CUV and the all-new Optima D-segment sedan. In addition to design quality, the jury also recognizes a number of other criteria, including workmanship, level of innovativeness, eco-friendliness, ergonomics and safety. One of the main focuses in this year’s awards was on the participants’ brand image.

“We are delighted and honoured to receive these awards for the Kia Sportage and the Kia Optima. They are further proof of the success of our design strategy“, said Benny Oeyen, VP Marketing & Product Planning Kia Motors Europe. “Kia’s brand image today is characterised by first-class design paired with high safety and quality standards, as is clearly demonstrated in the top grades we regularly receive in crash tests.”

Click PLAY to watch the 2011 Kia Optima promo video

Since its launch in 1953, the annual iF product design award has been one of the world’s most important prizes for excellence in design. The award has its origins in the product show “Die gute Industrieform” (Good Industrial Design) initiated by the Hanover trade show and is now one of the world’s largest design competitions. For the iF product design award 2011, the organizers received 2,756 submissions from 43 countries for products registered in 16 categories. The Kia Sportage and the Kia Optima won in the category “Transportation Design.”

The official presentation ceremony for the iF product design awards will take place on 1 March 2011, the first day of CeBIT (the world's largest trade fair showcasing digital IT and telecommunications solutions for home and work environments). This day will also see the opening of a special exhibition showcasing all the award-winning products at Hannover Exhibition Centre. The exhibition will run until August 2011 and several hundred thousand visitors are expected.

Click PLAY to watch the 2011 Kia Sportage promo video

The award-winning third generation of the Kia Sportage marks a dramatic shift in design direction for the compact SUV. Embodying Kia's newfound visual dynamism, the new Sportage successfully blends the key features of an SUV – the commanding driving position, heightened sense of security and raised ground clearance – and all of this is contained in a sleek and urban-friendly design with global appeal. The key design element of new Sportage’s purposeful stance is the relationship between its high shoulders and narrow glasshouse. “We’ve created a vehicle with a sports car-like ratio between sheet metal and glass,” explains Peter Schreyer, Kia’s chief design officer. The feeling of safety and protection the design projects is backed up by hard data: the new Sportage received “5 Stars,” the highest possible rating, in the Euro NCAP crash test – as have all new Kia models since 2007.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2011 Kia Optima

The dynamic and stylish Kia Optima, which celebrated its European debut at the Paris Motor Show 2010, has emerged as a top-seller in several countries. In the domestic Korean market the sporty sedan went straight to the top position in the D-segment, and is the very first Kia to have achieved this. The Kia Optima is an all-new car and it embodies what Peter Schreyer calls “a bold, athletic and visual sporting energy.”

These are not Kia’s first major product design awards. Last year the Kia Venga was awarded both the iF design prize and red dot award, while the Kia Soul is also a recipient of the red dot award.