Look for the Kia logo dashing across France July 18th, 2009

john-shimBy John Shim, Assistant Manager
Research & Development Planning Team

Encounter with Lampre-NGC Cycling Club in Korea

Summer’s finally here! ‘Tis the season to enjoy a wide range of sports and leisure activities.
(Although I do realize it’s winter or fall in the southern hemisphere.)

Today, I’d like to share an interesting story with you that can be traced back to Italy.

I’m a huge cycling fan. The weather in Korea is great for cycling from June to October. During this time, I often go for a ride after work or on the weekends. Sometimes I ride along the Han River, but I also venture further to cycle along the coast or up hills. Another favorite pastime is watching professional cycling teams, especially those in Europe, compete in races. Watching a race is as exciting as taking in a game of baseball, soccer or any other sport.

Another hobby of mine is collecting uniforms, bikes, water bottles and other merchandise of my favorite teams. As with other sports, famous cyclists have many supporters. Fans of the Korean soccer player Park Ji-sung may have bought a Manchester United shirt, while many Michael Jordan fans own a Chicago Bulls jersey.

Ahead of the summer cycling season, I purchased the uniform of the Italian Lampre-NGC cycling team via the Internet last month. Something in the uniform caught my attention.

It was the red logo of Kia Motors.

I was surprised and delighted by this uniform which came all the way from Europe.
The Kia logo was shining brightly on the right shoulder. A smile spread across my face as I put the shirt on and looked at myself in the mirror. The pleasure I felt was like meeting an old friend in an unfamiliar place. Kia had finally become a sponsor in cycling, my favorite sport. I realized once again that Kia’s reach is expanding to all corners of the world and to all fields.

The Kia Motors Italy became a sponsor of Lampre-NGC cycling team this year. That is why the Kia logo appears on the team uniform and the Kia cee’d Sporty Wagon is the team support car. Below is a photo of the Kia cee’d Sporty Wagon.
The white car body goes well with the blue and pink colors of Lampre. Don’t you agree?


A well known member of the Lampre-NGC team is Alessandro Ballan, winner of the 2008 UCI Road World Championships. He was also among the cyclists competing in the Tour de France, one of the world’s three major cycling races that opened a few days ago.

Ballan was sporting the Kia logo on his shoulder.


The last photo shows me wearing the Lampre-NGC team uniform and riding up Namsan Mountain in the heart of Seoul. I could feel the Kia spirit invigorating me. I felt confident enough to take on anything and was ready to start a new week with renewed energy. I recommend all of you to go out and cycle, or take part in any form of exercise. I’m sure you’ll feel rejuvenated after the workout.

sim jhon-2

Kia’s enthusiasm is very much alive and all around us.
You can feel it in your everyday surroundings.
From Kia’s Picanto or cee’d or even in a different realm such as cycling, the Kia logo is taking France by storm. In many ways, it represents the passion driving the tanned cyclists at Tour De France.

Let’s turn on our TV sets and look for the Kia logo gracing the shirts of extraordinary cyclists.

The energy and passion from France should give you a new boost.

Wishing you a wonderful and happy day! Carpe diem!

  • Hyundai Smoke

    I want to see a KIA logo dashing across America on a low cost Diesel SUV, but I hope with me as the driver. Dont ignore this market, GM could trump you guys, and that can cut into your bottom line.

    Why not do an Affordable 1980’s era Chevy/GMC Suburban Diesel, guys? You can do it.

  • Pamela (Korea)

    Smoke — Thanks for your comments. This is a market we are keeping a close eye on as well as the call for demand. I thought you might like to listen/watch a recent interview with Michael Sprague from Kia Motors America on alternative fuels.

    Ms. Lou Ann Hammond has posted it on the blog:

  • HyundaiSmoke

    You could start with something on the Sorrento/Tuscon level. I wouldnt even touch one of your SUV products with a 10 ft pole unless it was Diesel. Hybrid SUVs are ok, but Hybrid, DI, and Turbo the cars, and Diesel up the SUVs and I think in 10 years people will say, “Dodge/ Chrysler Who?” In refference to Hyundai-KIA Motors.

  • HyundaiSmoke

    It can be, “FIAT-Alfa Romeo who?” Too.

  • In Denmark, the Sorento is only sold with a 2.5 litre diesel engine. The Sportage is sold with two different petrol engines (2.0 and 2.7 litres) and a 2.0 litre diesel engine.

    So, I guess it’s the marketing department in Kia Motors America that have chosen to only market petrol versions.

  • Greg

    I’ll tell you what, we plan to take our Optima to 49 out of the 50 states (you can’t drive to Hawaii) in the United States by next summer. If the diesel option would have been available two years ago, we would have purchased the diesel no questions asked. There is really no point in a gasoline engine, when diesel engines have more horsepower, a lot more torque, get better fuel economy, and cut down carbon footprint, how could anyone in their right mind purchase a gas engine? Comparing diesel and gasoline engines is like comparing cars to horse and buggies! We still plan on dashing across 49 states with our Optima, but we really with we were dashing with clean diesel! If you think about it, there is about as much market for a diesel in the USA as there is for a hybrid. If Kia could market a diesel engine right, they could have a hit, just like toyota had the prius, Kia could have the Sorento R. For the last two years you have been promising a clean diesel at the major auto shows, follow through, PLEASE!!! WE WANT A KIA DIESEL! We also want a Kia Granbird as a motorhome, but, no big rush on that! ;)

  • HyundaiSmoke

    Soren, that motor gets 40 MPG US as well, and 399 Torques, whoah!!! That Motor would do a lot to help Hyundai/KIA bring their CAFE up to their goal before 2015. I think they can have 35 MPG by 2013. The question is, are they willing to get the Euro Powertrains up to American CO2 Standards?

  • HyundaiSmoke

    Obama out foxed you guys. You need to change your goal from 35 MPG CAFE by 2015 to 35 MPG CAFE sooner than that. No later than 2014 guys!!!! If I was you Id shoot for 2013 to be safe. You can start with KIA, and then move the powertrains to Hyundai after a year. If you do it any later, you’ll will just be another make in the pack, and your bragging rights will be stolen under your feet.

  • HyundaiSmoke

    Obama takes you guys (The Koreans) Seriously. He doesnt talk about the Japanese and German cars so much. If you see him on TV, its KIA this, and Hyundai that, the Koreans Cars this and the Koreans that, the Improvements of the Korean Automakers this. He also talks about the comming auto assualt from China, India, and Malaysia as well.

  • Shawn

    Great story, That bike must be one of Madone-Series from Trek made of Carbon fiber. And your helmet and glasses also look cool :)

  • HyundaiSmoke

    I think Diesel needs to be more utilized in the Sonata/Optima and up Sedans, and in the SUVs. Diesels in the small cars are ok but not popular. I wouldnt put Diesel in anything thats smaller than a Sonata/Optima unless it was a SOUL or Rondo.

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