Kicking off the launch of the New Cerato in Oman February 12th, 2009

By Soon Nam Lee
Director, Overseas Marketing Group, Kia Motors Corporation

Forecasts point to a sharp drop in automobile demand this year with the continuing worldwide economic slump. Meanwhile, thanks to swift advances in IT, the rapid emergence of new media based on two-way communication has been changing the face of the media environment which had hitherto been dedicated to traditional channels such as TV and newspapers. Kia has selected slim marketing – a strategy of selection and concentration and pursuing cost efficiency in marketing resources – as its key strategy for 2009. Two major tasks will reinforce our strategy: supporting the successful launch of new models and local field marketing activities.

Today, I’d like to talk about the launch of Kia’s ambitious model, New Cerato (known as Forte in some markets), in Oman which was the car’s first introduction to consumers in the Middle East.
Unveiling a new model to the market can evoke emotions similar to those felt by parents marrying off a daughter: a mixture of pride, excitement, anxiety and trepidation.

I worked at the Asia-Pacific HQ office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for three years as marketing head before going to Frankfurt, Germany. After I oversaw the European launch of cee’d, I returned to the global HQ in Seoul.  Through my experience with local marketing in diverse markets, I became acutely aware that the objective of all pre-marketing activities, including those related to a new model launch, must be very simple and clear: build a database of potential customers; secure test drive booking; and initiate actual test drives so customers can directly experience the superior quality and value of Kia products and eventually make a purchase.

All launch activities need to be efficiently linked and integrated to focus on the above-mentioned three goals. Another important factor is meticulous schedule management of each phase. To achieve these objectives on a global scale, the culture, lifestyle habits, customer touch points and media environments unique to each region should be reflected on communication activities. While the methods to reaching our final objective may differ, the objective must be the same.

Seeing the differences of the diverse markets around the world is an enjoyable part of the job for the person in charge of global marketing. I’ve attached some pictures of the highlights of the new Cerato launch in Oman.  My favorite one is the creative idea of OOH(out of home) media which shows very unique and humorous approach.  I’d also like to send my best wishes for a successful launch to my colleagues at Kia Motors Oman and Middle East HQ.

<Festive Showroom Event>

<Cerato ‘Touch & Feel’ Roadshow>

<Shopping mall display>

<Out of home media creative>

  • I had a look around a new Cerato “in the flesh” at a dealership the other day. A great looking car.

    I wonder if Kia will be able to increase their market share here in Australia with this vehicle?

    I have heard that the two door coupe will be available in Australia some time in the near future.

    Does anyone have any idea when the hatch version will be released?






  • Pamela (Seoul)

    Hello again, Geoff!

    You are on the ball with our car launches and we’re glad to hear you liked the new Cerato! We have a great line-up of car launches this year that we hope will drive more people towards our brand. I think we’re in a good position to do just that!

    As for the 2-door Cerato, it will start finding its way onto showroom floors in June 2010 in most markets, including Australia. We’ll be unveiling it at a Motor Show this year… keep posted to the BUZZ for the buzz!

  • Thanks Pamela for the reply.

    I visit this Buzz site regularly to read the new posts. I enjoy the content.

    Will the Cerato hatch follow some time after the two door?


  • Hi Geoff,

    We do have a plan for the hatchback body style, but the launch date is yet to be finalized.

    Seung Hwan

  • Thanks for the reply.

  • Paul Murray


    Will the new Cerato be launched in Ireland any time soon?

    Loyal Kia Fan,


  • Hi Paul,

    The new Cerato won’t be launching in Ireland. It is targetted for Russia, North & South Americas, Mid East & Africa and Asia & Pacific regions.

  • pat


    Will the new Cerato be launched in South Africa any time soon?

    I am asking this question because we waited for the kia cee’d since 2006 and it never showed up and on the release notes it was said it was also scheduled for africa instead we saw the pro ceed last year.I’m in desperate need of a car and my first choice is kia but i cannot wait like i waited for the ceed in south africa.

  • admin

    Hi pat,

    We are not planing to launch the new-cerato yet.

    And only pro-cee’d is available in South Africa among cee’d models.

    Sorry for your disappointment.

  • Eduardo

    Hi.. My wife recently choose a new Cerato..
    Lets to say this car design is far better than others in the market.. I would ask engineers to review some details like the RPAS display site; because it is integrated in the dashboard when you are in the parking maneuver, the steering wheel can and will block the display. It is not enough with the sound signal; you need to recognize where the possible obstacle the car is approaching to is. Additional movements are required for the driver to look at the RPAS.
    A great detail is the auxiliary inlet (ipod or comparable); one better would be an additional space to put the player down.

  • Colin

    Hello Eduardo,

    Thanks for your kind concern and opinion about All-new Cerato. We forwarded your message to
    Cerato Product Manager to let him know your concern. If you have more opinion about All-new Cerato,
    please feel free to leave it on Kia BUZZ.


  • Nourhan Beyrouti

    My new Kia Cerato Koup is the best car i have ever owned in my life … and ive only had it for 24 hours … Thanks Kia for the best car and the best service … i would buy another kia just for the buying experience i had at the Oman showroom ….