2012 was certainly an eventful year for Kia Motors. From various new vehicle launches, awards to motor shows, it was a wild ride and we enjoyed every moment of it.
Today on BUZZ, we’d like to recap some of these momentous milestones and share with you what got us moving in the year 2012. Let’s take a look.
2012 Highlights and Milestones
All-new Kia cee’d made its global premiere at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show. More sophisticated, more efficient, more refined and with a more engaging driving experience than its predecessor, new cee’d launched to build on the success of the original model, further establishing Kia as one of the leading automotive brands in Europe.
Kia has been awarded two top honors for its Picanto and Rio models in the 2012 red dot design competition. The five-door versions of Kia’s striking A-segment Picanto and B-segment Rio were both winners in red dot’s internationally-acclaimed ‘Product Design’ category, in a competition that saw more than 4,500 products entered by 1,800 manufacturers from 58 countries across a variety of product sectors.
Kia’s striking, rear-wheel drive, all-new flagship sedan Kia Quoris made its grand debut in May. The new luxury model (known as ‘K9′ in the domestic market) went on sale in Korea in early May, and features a host of high-tech comfort and safety features, many of them never seen before on a Kia.
4) Construction begins for third China plant with a 300,000-unit annual capacity
Kia Motors and its Chinese subsidiary, Dongfeng Yueda Kia Motor Co., Ltd., held the groundbreaking ceremony for its third plant in the Yancheng Economic Development Zone (Jiangsu Province) in June, officially signaling the start of construction of the automaker’s newest state-of-the art manufacturing facility. The plant, which will boast an annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles when completed in the first half of 2014, is an aggressive move by Kia to further strengthen its presence in China, which has become the world’s largest automotive market. Combined with the current annual capacity from its two existing plants in the Yancheng Economic Development Zone, which have annual capacities of 130,000 and 300,000 units, Kia will be able to produce a total of 730,000 vehicles locally in China.
Kia Motors launched Green Light Project, a global social mobility program that seek to improve the accessibility of health and education for disadvantaged youth in ailing regions back in August. The project’s official launch ceremony took place earlier this month at the future site of the Maendeleo Secondary School situated in the Madale area of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (East Africa). Kia plans to expand the Green Light Project to other countries and regions through the cooperation of its global network, and its next project will take place in the southeast African nation of Malawi.
The all-new Kia Carens made its grand world debut at the Paris Motor Show 2012 in September. It is a completely fresh model from the ground up, and its sleek and sculpted design marks a dramatic shift away from the more utilitarian look of its predecessor. It builds on the functionality and versatility of the original Carens, with a spacious five or five-plus-two seating layout, a generously proportioned luggage bay and numerous stowage spaces, but wraps this family-friendly adaptability in more purposeful sheet metal.
The new Kia cee’d – launched in June 2012 – triumphed in the exterior category and also received an honorary special mention for exceptional innovation in the interior category. The cee’d is Kia’s best-selling model in Europe, and features styling typically found on a sporty coupe, but offers the space and functionality of a five-door hatch.
Kia Motors made the exclusive list of the ‘Top 100 Best Global Brands’ according to the 2012 study released by Interbrand, the world’s largest brand consultancy agency. Kia’s remarkable increase in brand value is now estimated at $4.1 billion USD, which firmly sets the automaker at 87th place on the ‘Top 100 Best Global Brands’ list. In the list there are 12 automotive brands chosen. While the average automotive brand value growth rate is 11%, Kia made a whopping 50% increase since last year’s estimated brand value.
The silk covers were pulled off and the all-new Kia Forte (Cerato) was revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. It sits on an all-new chassis and is longer, wider and lower than the previous generation Forte, with more room, more performance and more premium amenities. It will be offered in LX and EX variants with a choice of an efficient 1.8-liter engine or a more powerful 2.0 liter engine. It also offers luxurious features like a ventilated driver’s seat and UVO eServices, setting a new standard for the compact segment.
You can see Kia certainly had a lot going on in 2012. Going over these events with all of you reminds us of how eventful the year was. With this momentum, we’ll keep driving forward to provide you with the best automobiles and services that we always strive for in the years to come. Stay tuned here on Kia BUZZ and Happy New Year!
See more of our favorite moments of 2012 on BUZZ:
- Four More Justice League Members Join Kia’s Superhero Lineup
- These Kia Souls are Ready for Halloween
- World premiere for all-new Kia pro_cee’d at Paris Motor Show
- New generation Kia cee’d awarded top safety score by EuroNCAP
- Spy Shots of Kia Police Cars in New James Bond Film – Skyfall