By Young Hyun Song
Project Team 1
It is an impressive year-end report card for the Kia cee’d family of vehicles: short-listed in the European COTY, 5-Star Safety EuroNCAP rating, Family Car of the Year in Sweden and Car of the Year 2008 in Romania and Greece. The cee’d is the first Korean-brand car to ever receive such positive results and these awards are testament to Kia’s undeniable rise in quality, service and design. I am proud and thankful for the cooperation and tireless efforts of employees at Namyang R&D Center (home to Kia’s accumulated engineering skills and technology), our European technical center and Slovakia plant.
The cee’d development process was marked by a series of firsts and new challenges. Unlike the existing concept of developing worldwide car models, the cee’d was specifically designed for European customers. It underwent scrutinizing evaluations in Europe and was manufactured at Kia’s first-ever European plant. The cee’d was a process of trial and error which resulted in many new experiences. Those experiences allowed Kia to establish a new development process and a Europe-specific TDP (Test & Development Procedure) to examine European driving characteristics (such as driving comfort), which stresses rigidity and safety while driving at high speeds; fuel economy on European roads; and European NVH levels. At the same time, we conducted parallel crash tests in Korea along with tests in Europe to inspect various factors that could affect the car’s collision performance such as test facilities and personnel. We concentrated on ensuring that the cee’d had the highest levels of active safety with good visibility, responsive and agile handling, and powerful braking, to enable drivers to avoid accidents and other everyday motoring hazards. The valuable experiences and technological know-how we gained from the development of the cee’d are now being expanded to other model under development.
With the pro_cee’d (3-door version of the cee’d) soon to hit the market, I can’t wait to receive even more good news in 2008.