In 1944, Kia Motors, then known as ‘Kyungsung Precision Industries,’ had its humble start as a steel tubing and handmade bicycle parts manufacturer. Little did the modest start-up know at the time, but this operation would later pave the way to manufacturing vehicles of all kinds, and lead Kia to becoming one of the world’s fastest growing automotive brands. That’s right, it all began with a metal frame that connected a saddle seat, two wheels, foot pedals and a set of handle bars to create the most basic form of mechanical transportation.
Coming Full Circle to the New K Velo
Going back to its humble beginnings with a modern and updated twist, Kia recently launched the ‘K Velo’ series of bicycles, which were designed by its Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer. Today on Buzz, we’re going to take a rare glimpse into Kia’s bicycle past while giving the low down on these new Mini Velo bikes.
1944 – Early pioneers of Kia Motors, then known as ‘Kyungsung Precision Industries,’ assemble bicycles by hand
1957 – A larger scale production facility is moved to the southern South Korean city of Busan
Finished bicycles being unloaded for distribution
1951 – Kia Super Cycle 3000
The Kia Scenic 26
1970 – Kia High Riser 103 (3-speed bicycle)
Introducing the 2012 K Velo
The K Velo ‘CITY’ version sporting Kia’s trademark tiger-nosed radiator grille on its basket to maintain the brands identity
Rise of Mini Velos
The K Velo is the first bicycle designed by Kia Motors under the supervision of Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer. Mini Velos have become a popular bicycle style in urban cities and are known for their 20″ wheels and elegantly compact frame, which make them ideal for city commutes and transport via car or bus.
Mini Velos are more common in Asia, especially in Korea and Japan, than in Europe and the U.S., but they are gaining popularity with young urban trendsetters in the West. Kia’s K Velos were created to appeal to these design conscious ‘young-at-hearts’ who desire to be mobile with Kia in any given situation.
Kia Motors applied its ‘simplicity of the straight line’ design philosophy to the new bicycles and the K Velo is a joint project between Peter Schreyer and Korean bicycle manufacturing company, ‘Samchully.’ The project took 13 months of research and development under Peter’s design direction.
The K Velo is available in two different versions: ‘CITY,’ which has convenience features such as 11 gears, a basket and fenders while the ‘SPEED’ version features lighter interrupters and bike weight. Their clean and simple aerodynamic profiles are complemented with striking details, offering stylish functionality in any urban setting.
Both bikes were developed to meet the rising demand for sustainable and portable transportation, especially in urban areas. The production of these bicycles is an attempt to motivate our customers to give greater consideration to the environment by using bikes for short distance journeys.
K Velo SPEED
The K Velo ‘SPEED’ version features lighter interrupters and bike weight
K Velo CITY
We started this project to promote environmentally friendly alternatives to transportation from Kia and the K Velo also provides an opportunity to showcase Kia’s design prowess and the revolutionary changes it’s made throughout the years.
The bicycles are available for purchase on the Kia Brand Collection page (www.shop-kia.com), but are only available in Korea at this time – CITY is priced at approximately US$1,500 and SPEED at US$1,100.
Kia Motors America – Bicycle Commercial
What do you think?
What do you think about Peter Schreyer’s bicycle? Tell us in the comment section below.