- Kia is first Korean car maker to win a prestigious 'red dot' award
- Soul wins 'Honourable Mention' among 3,230 competition entries
(SEOUL) March 18, 2009 -- Kia's stylish and fun urban cross-over vehicle, the Soul, has become the first Korean car ever to receive the prestigious recognition of a design award from the world renowned 'red dot' awards at the 2009 product design competition held in Germany.
With more than 3,230 entries from 49 countries in 17 different categories, the newly-launched Kia Soul was selected from the 'Automobile Transport and Caravan' section to receive this design accolade.
Welcoming the announcement of the 'red dot' award, Kia's Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer commented, "Our design teams in Korea, California and Europe can be very proud that Kia Soul has achieved this prestigious recognition. Kia's design strategy is focusing on distinctive product solutions and the development of a unique Kia family look. This award is a clear reward for Kia´s determination to establish design as one of the key components of its corporate DNA."
The Kia Soul's architecture delivers emotional appeal as well as functionality. The Soul embodies Kia's image shift towards a design-driven company with products that consumers will aspire to own.
Kia is confident that when customers first experience the new Kia Soul, they are going to be deeply impressed by its style, colors and quality. There are several unique aspects to the experience of sitting in the Soul with its unusual combination of spaciousness for passengers and coziness for the driver, generating a very special ambience.
Every Soul comes with generous standard equipment and a wide range of unusual options (depending on individual markets), that include an Upgraded Sound System with 'Sound Sensitive Mood Lighting' (illuminated speakers that 'pulse' in time with the music), a 315 watts output, a large dash-top centre speaker, external amplifier and a sub-woofer in the trunk for a total of eight speakers.
Challenging consumers to rethink everything they know about Kia...
"The Kia Soul defies all conventions and offers drivers a new freedom in style, a new shape and a new power of expression," explained Hyoung-Keun Lee, Senior Executive Vice President and COO of the International Business Division, Kia Motors Corporation. "It's a new standard in an urban car that encourages consumers to rethink everything they know about Kia. The 'red dot' award only enhances Kia's brand awareness and strengthens the Soul's position in the global marketplace.
"Since the concept was first launched for the Soul in Detroit 2006, we have received excellent responses from drivers and media, alike. This award will further ensure that consumers in our showrooms happily convert their initial emotional attraction to Soul into a purchase decision, without worrying that their heart might be unwisely overruling their head," he added.
Promoting good product design since 1955
The 'red dot' international judging panel scrutinized every entry and rated its performance against a list of nine core criteria: innovation, functionality, formal quality, ergonomics, durability, emotional impact, product accessories, ease-of-use and environmental compatibility.
The 'red dot' design award judging panel for 2009 was comprised of 29 independent working designers and academics from all fields of creative activity. The international make up of the judging panel is as varied as the wide range of entries with judges from countries as far afield as Mexico, Sweden, Chile, Israel, Finland and South Korea, among others.
Regarded as the world's largest annual design competition, the 'red dot' design award has its roots back in 1955 and has been an international design competition since 1991. The driving force behind the red dot awards is Professor Dr. Peter Zec and the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany. The DZNW museum, which is housed in the former Zeche Zollverein colliery redesigned by British architect Lord Norman Foster in the late 1990s, is known locally as the 'cathedral of industrial culture' and attracts more than 140,000 visitors each year.
The 2009 'red dot' design award presentation will take place in Essen's Aalto-Theater on June 29, 2009, with the award winning products going on display at the DZNW museum for one month as of June 30, 2009.
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. Nearly 1.5 million vehicles a year are produced in 13 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 172 countries. Kia today has over 40,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of over US$14.5 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and 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.