Kia will be holding a brand heritage exhibition at Kia360 located in Apgujeong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul from August 21st to May next year. This exhibition, with the concept of ‘Movement with People’, was planned to deliver to customers the DNA of Kia, which has lived along with the ‘movement’ of its customers.
Kia summoned its past legacies, the T-600 and Brisa, to convey to customers the story of its 79-year journey. In addition, this exhibition also displays the EV9, the latest electric model, which shows Kia’s new electric vision for the future mobility world.
Additionally, Kia told the stories of people who have been with Kia through various digital contents other than vehicles. The automaker conveys the message that heritage is not simply the history of automobile development, but the story that people and automobiles have built together - happy memories of childhood or youth, stories of family, etc. Kia’s heritage exhibition, which contains these various stories, is introduced in detail here.
Kia, which started in 1944 under the name Kyungsung Precision Industry, began its history as a company that manufactured bicycle parts. Eight years later, in 1952, it changed its name to Kia Industry and produced and sold the first domestic bicycle, Samchuly-ho, giving freedom of movement to Koreans. And in 1969, the company laid the foundation for Korea’s leading automobile company through the T-600, developed through technical cooperation with Japan’s Dongyang Industries (currently Mazda).
Kia Industry, which established a foothold as an automobile manufacturer through the T-600, began to accelerate its automobile business in earnest. Kia Industries needed a new model that could make customers’ daily lives richer and more diverse, and Brisa was launched to solve these concerns. Brisa gave people the joy of movement, and took on an important role in taking charge of a part of their lives by integrating into various parts of their daily lives.
As mentioned above, the T-600 and Brisa are the pillars on which Kia exists today; For this reason, Kia placed restorations of the T-600 and Brisa at the center of this heritage exhibition. Kia took out the two units stored in the research center and restored them by referring to past photos and catalogs. Through the efforts of numerous faculties, the T-600 and Brisa not only look neat as if they were just shipped from the factory, but are also actually drivable.
The T-600, with its stylish blue and white color combination, has helped many people make a living since 1969. The compact and light body made it easy to deliver kneaded coal and rice through narrow alleys, and it was nicknamed ‘tripod’ thanks to its three wheels, which are difficult to find these days. The T-600’s engine was a 577cc air-cooled two-cylinder with a maximum output of 20 horsepower, and the maximum load reached 500kg. Based on this performance, the T-600 laid the foundation for the transport industry in the 1960s and 1970s. The T-600, which had a great influence on the history of the Korean automobile industry, was recognized for its contribution and became a national registered cultural property in 2008. The T-600 indeed contributed to the development of the transportation industry in Korea and enabled Kia to enter the automobile industry.
Meanwhile, Brisa enabled Kia to grow to the next level as an automobile manufacturer. Brisa, developed based on the second generation of Mazda’s Familia, which was in partnership with Kia, was released in 1974. Two years later, in 1976, the domestic production rate reached approximately 90%, leading to Kia’s technological growth. Kia’s first rear-wheel drive passenger car, Brisa, brought many memories to the people of Korea, serving as the family’s first car for some and their father’s taxi for others. Even today, Brisa can often be found in various media showing the 1970s. The Brisa was loved by many and became a part of Kia’s history until it was discontinued in 1981 due to the government’s automobile industry integration measures.
In the Heritage Zone of this exhibition hall where you can meet the T-600 and Brisa, in addition to these two vehicles, interactive digital media that shows the history of Kia is on display. Digital media is divided into two categories, ‘Discover’ and ‘Restore’, and you can enjoy the desired content using the jog dial in front of the screen. ‘Discover’ organizes Kia’s past history into three keywords: Bold / Enriching / Progressive, and then introduces Kia’s past actions according to each keyword. ‘Restore’ shows the restoration process of the T-600 and Brisa in a video.
The large screen located in front of the heritage zone shows the T-600 and Brisa in the 1960s and 1970s when they were available on the market. The video that overlaps exquisitely with the two vehicles at the back of the screen seems as if the T-600 and Brisa are leading us into the past. The images of the families that were with the two models at the time and the green Brisa reminiscent of the movie make viewers take a trip back to the past.
While the Heritage Zone’s T-600 and Brisa show Kia’s past, the Future Zone shows Kia’s present and future. At the center of the future zone is the EV9, the latest model that embodies Kia’s electric mobility vision, and behind it, a video showing Kia’s mobility development process introduces everything from Samchuly-ho to PBV.
EV9 is Kia’s latest electric model and is a symbolic figure that provides a glimpse into how Kia is preparing for the future era of electric mobility. Various convenience features such as a 99.8kWh large capacity battery, eco-friendly materials applied throughout the interior, and V2L/swivel seats represent the eco-friendly and people-centered future mobility pursued by Kia. The automaker has made innovative developments throughout its 79-year history, while maintaining the goals it pursued from the very beginning and trying to incorporate them into new vehicles.
On the digital wall behind the EV9, visitors can see the history of Kia, starting with the Samchuly-ho, the first domestic bicycle launched in 1952, through the T-600, Brisa, Sportage, K5, EV9, and PBV through a short but powerful loop video.
A video containing the message of the main concept of the heritage exhibition, Movement with People, follows. The main video depicts the story of a family that grew up with Kia over two generations in picturesque scenery. Kia reflected on the meaning of Kia Motors, which has stood by its family members throughout economic and social development, and tried to convey the history of Kia, which has participated in the growth and development of people, society, and industry, through emotional storytelling.
Kia’s current exhibition contains not only the changes that Kia has gone through over the past 79 years through the T-600, Brisa, and EV9, but also the stories of many people who have been with Kia over the years. The stories of customers using Kia vehicles from the past to the present are told through displays of various sizes on the wall that visitors first encounter at the entrance to the exhibition hall. The thank-you letters sent by Kia owners to the automaker remind us once again that the Kia brand pursues cars and people.
The word brand heritage has many connotations; History, as well as the positive impact the brand has left on the world, is also part of its heritage. The true value of Kia that we can see through this Kia Heritage exhibition is its contribution to the growth of people, society, and industry. Those who loved Kia helped the company grow over the past 79 years, and the automaker returned more happiness and joy to its customers, leaving a positive impact.
Through this heritage exhibition, Kia intends to reflect on this past and use it as a stepping stone to prepare for the world of future mobility. Regarding this heritage exhibition, a Kia official said, “We prepared this exhibition to look back on the journey we have been with our customers as a mobility company for 79 years and reflect on its meaning. ” “We will continue to carry out various heritage activities to convey Kia’s unique brand value.” Kia’s heritage exhibition is available at Kia360, its brand experience space, and is scheduled to continue until May next year.
By Wan-il Kim
Photography by Hyuk-soo Cho
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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