Design & Technology / Product

How the Picanto’s Color and Trims Were Developed June 13th, 2011

The All-New Picanto, Decorating Roads Around the World

“If we are not able to properly understand what appeals to our global consumers emotionally, we will not be able to satisfy them no matter how much effort we put into improving the vehicle’s performance.”

By collaborating with the Kia design center in Europe, we extensively analyzed local consumers’ lifestyles and trends. We then proceeded to coordinate colors that appeal to their emotional senses.

Exterior Color

The concepts for the Picanto’s exterior color are “Vintage Paint Box,” “Play House,” “Blusher” and “Tinted Silver.” We suggested a solid color with a vintage feeling (Vintage Paint Box), a lively color that young people would like (Play House), a luxurious golden and pinkish color (Blusher) and a sensible tinted silver color (Tinted Silver).

We developed six unique exterior colors in addition to the four standard colors to make the distinctive Picanto’s features even more outstanding and ensure emotional satisfaction of our customers.

We developed various pastel colors to appeal to female drivers and proposed unique color names (Milky Beige, Honeybee Yellow, Lemon Grass, Alice Blue, Café Mocha, Signal Red). The Milky Beige color, which gives off a deep, glittery and luxurious effect through a multi-coating process, has especially been receiving consistent and positive reactions.

Interior Color

The interior color concept is “European & Sporty, City Style.” Our intention was to offer a sporty and practical interior with the combination of energetic and elegant colors.

We applied a variety of colors to meet the tastes of our customers. With a young consumer target base in mind, we used a glossy black in the interior for a sporty and refined feel. Meanwhile, we used an orange interior color (orange color pack) to appeal to trendy female consumers.

The Picanto interior has the largest variety of colors (8) in the current Kia lineup. We pursued distinct perfection by applying many colors and materials mainly to the center garnish, a key characteristic of the Picanto, as well as high main trims that are often touched.

Every color and material should be equipped with properties that meet durable and functionality standards as well as relevant regulations. As a result, it was crucial to develop colors that pass the Material Property Test.

A month before production, the quality management department requested the removal of the glossy white/black and the soft gold metal paint coatings on the dash trim due to problems with scratches and the materials’ properties themselves. We continued conducting research with the relevant department right up to production to find solutions and finally passed the scratch and material property tests. So the unique dash trim coatings were able to be included in the Picanto.

Joo Yoen Lee, Color Researcher

“The color team should be able to execute all three of the following key factors: color coordination, emotion and quality. We should improve the emotional added-value of vehicles, reflecting current trends as well as maximizing design value.

I thought to myself, ‘I want to create new and interesting roads for color.’ It was a personal goal I set when starting the all-new Picanto project. Whenever I went on a business trip to Europe, I thought that the colorful vehicles on the roads there were impressive and fun.

I tried to give the Picanto many colors, hoping to turn roads full of achromatic-colored cars into colorful and fun roads. I hope that the Picanto with its various colors is loved and is able to beautifully decorate the roads.”

  • Ms Lee, I really love the theme – “Decorating Roads Around the World” and cherish the same hope that the colourful Picanto will change the roads full of achromatic-coloured cars into colourful and fun ones! But as I mentioned before, the All-New Picanto will attract both sexes and the vivid colours should not be restricted to female customers either!! Have you ever seen people envying those colourful masculine racing cars (e.g. Fer—-, Lam——–, Por—-) running on the roads?!!
    Moreover, I strongly admire your efforts to create the largest variety of colours (10 exteriorly & 8 interiorly). But I just wonder why the colour options are usually downscaled in respective markets especially for those colourful ones! For instance, two brilliant colours – HONEY BEE and LEMON GRASS have been removed from the Korean colour options while there is actually only ONE trim colour – BLACK in the UK! How come the options are chosen by the dealers but not us – the final users, customers?! How can we be emotionally satisfied if we cannot really choose the options we like??! Provided that those brilliant colours are practically available in production, it is really a pity that your efforts seem to get in vain when it comes to those respective dealers!!!

  • @e6cf851ec6f45cd19756c7e81ac12e11:disqus 
    We are very sorry for the long delayed reply. In regards to the color chice in local markets, it is decided by local distributors/subsidiaries. They decide their color options depending on local customers taste. But we will share your comment with Kia  U.K. to consider importing other colors.

    And the reason that Honey Bee and Lemon Grass are not available in Korean market was due to the earth quake happened in Japan. But those color will be available in Korean market soon.

  • Ms. Lee, as what the other Fan had said, the All -New Picanto is truly admirable, I have my old model way back 2005 and its truly beautiful, My kids took care of it like their own “brother”, it serves me now with 155 kilometers already and the engine is very good except last two week ago, I didn’t notice that I emptied his radiator tank, due to some problem with his pump valve. Due to that situation, my location was on the rural area and it’s very far from the city to the place where it happen-my best option was to bring the car without using a towing truck instead using another to pull him back to the city.  Unfortunately two (2) days after changing the rubber valve ( that distributes the water from the radiator tank towards the engine) it was discovered that the valve body, torque converter, lining plate has broken, in short its the entire transmission must be replaced.  I need your help to forward this letter to your engineers who has knowledge about my concern, please, please, my youngest kid is crying because he wants his PICANTO back home-

    Looking forward to answer my 12 year old Boy with his misses-


  • I have my Cobalt Blue Picanto with me for six (6) years now and would still be gladly to enjoy more years being with him-but I need tips and advise on the maintenance aspect so I can still hold him for more years with my family he has ran around 156 mileage and still handsome and proud on the road..