Thursday, June 30, 2011

KIA RACING CAPTURES SECOND GRAND-AM VICTORY AT ROAD AMERICA AND MOVES TO THE TOP OF THE TEAM AND DRIVER STANDINGS

Michael Galati and Nic Jönsson Pilot the No. 10 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup to Victory Lane for Their Second GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Win

- Victory moves the No. 10 Forte Koup to the top of the Street Tuner (ST) Team standings; Jönsson climbs to the number one ranking in the Driver standings

- Both Kia Forte Koups finished in the top six at the Road America 200

Following up their historic first win for Kia Motors America (KMA) in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) in April, Michael Galati and Nic Jönsson again co-drove the No. 10 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup to the checkered flag at Friday's Road America 200 in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Galati and Jönsson battled a field of more than 25 competitors in the 2.5 hour race, and the pair used the Forte Koup's braking and handling advantages on the fourteen-turn circuit to overtake several more powerful turbocharged cars and reach victory lane. With three races remaining in the 2011 season, the victory propelled KMA's second-year motorsports program and racing partner Kinetic Motorsports to the top of the Team and Driver standings in the ST class.

Michael Galati (left) and Nic Jönsson drove their No. 10 Infinity Audio Forte Koup to Kia Motors America's second-ever victory in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge on Friday night at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. - Photo Credit: Melissa K. Smith Photography

"It's unheard of for a second-year racing program to stand on top of the podium, but to do it twice in a single year is even more remarkable and underscores the tremendous effort both Kia Motors and Kinetic Motorsports have put into the program," said Jönsson. "The team went to extraordinary lengths to overcome the challenges posed by the Road America course and that makes this win even sweeter."

In addition to the victory, the driving pair of Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood had their best outing of the season at Road America with a sixth place finish in the No. 12 Forte Koup. After starting seventh on the grid, Hopwood took the ST lead for three laps before handing the No. 12 car over to Burrows. Team "BurHop" recorded their third top ten-finish of the year, and the race marked the second time this season both Forte Koups finished in the top ten in the same event.

After qualifying in the third position, Galati fended off a series of relentless attacks from several more powerful cars and kept the No. 10 Forte Koup in the top five during the race's first 90 minutes. With just over an hour remaining, Jönsson took the wheel and moved up the grid and into a fierce three-car battle for first place before ultimately overtaking the leader with 30 minutes remaining in the race.

Jönsson successfully held off repeated challenges from the second- and third-place cars for nine laps before a severe accident and full course caution ended the race under yellow and sealed Kia Racing's second victory of the season.

"We went to Road America knowing the course's long straights and elevation changes provided a significant challenge, especially against some of our turbocharged competitors, but the Kinetic Motorsports team did an amazing job preparing both Forte Koups and the team's strategy allowed Nic and Michael to use the braking and cornering portions of the track to their advantage and bring home Kia's second GRAND-AM victory," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "We entered the 2011 season with increased expectations, and the team's hard work and dedication to continuous improvement has paid off with three podium appearances in seven races."

Racing fans can watch Kia's victory when SPEED broadcasts the Road America 200 on Sunday, July 3 at 1:00 p.m. ET. The Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koups will race for the first time in KMA's home state of California when they return for round eight of the CTSCC on July 9 at the legendary Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Fans can follow Kia Racing's progress and receive live updates from the track at facebook.com/kiaracing.

About Kia Motors America

Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 730 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA." In 2010, KMA recorded its best-ever U.S. sales and 16th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technologies.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gary Rome Kia sets to give away a brand new Kia Soul to a deserving Enfield High School Senior

BIG NEWS AT ENFIELD HIGH SHOOL!!

Friday, June 10, 2011, 185 of the seniors in the graduating class '11 will gather at the picnic grounds behind the Weymouth firehouse to enjoy the 4th annual senior outing. The day includes traditional "family style" games and friendly competitions – tugs of war, three legged races, water balloons, softball, ring toss championships , to name a few of the fun events.

A very special opportunity for this graduating class is in place this year. Gary Rrome Kia has provided a prize Kia Soul for a senior who has completed a minimun of 40 hours of community service, and has at least a "b" (85) academic average with no unexcused absences from, or late arrivals to school. Also, no disciplinary referrals were permitted to be elegible for the Kia Soul. Gary Rome Kia has emphasized the service, integrity and comittment of students and we are grateful for this opportunity to reward and recognize our seniors for their accomplishments. There were 16 finalists for the chance to draw for a key.

At 9:30 A.M. on Friday, June 10, 2011, Gary Rome of Gary Rome Kia will bring the Kia to the firehouse grounds: there will be 11 seniors who will receive a key to attempt to unlock the door of the Soul. ONly one key will unlock /start the vehicle and that lucky enfield high school senior will have a vehicle! The students are anxious, nervous and excited about this opportunity... Enfield High School is grateful to Mr. Gary Rome and Gary Rome Kia for this program.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

2011 Kia Sorento Named to "Top 10 Family Cars of 2011" List by Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com

First Kia Vehicle Built in the U.S. is Lauded For Superior Mix of Ride, Handling and Interior Appeal

* Stylish, family-friendly CUV combines fuel efficiency and spacious interior for the best of both worlds
* Kia's best-selling vehicle offers families a child-friendly option at an outstanding value

The 2011 Kia Sorento CUV has received a lot of attention since arriving in January 2010, and that trend continues this week as Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com names the compact CUV one of the "Top 10 Family Cars of 2011." Recognized for its exceptional mix of ride and handling as well as a stylish and functional interior, the 2011 Sorento has achieved a number of historic firsts for Kia, including becoming the company's first vehicle to surpass 100,000 units in a single year and being the first vehicle built at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) in West Point, Georgia.

The Sorento combines Kia's distinctive design language with a comprehensive list of standard safety, convenience and technology features and was named a 2010 "Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

"Sorento's recognition as one of the 'Top 10 Family Cars of 2011' by Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com is well deserved with its striking design and standout combination of performance, safety equipment and family friendly features," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, Kia Motors America. "As one of several recently introduced and dynamically styled products from Kia, Sorento accounts for more than 30 percent of our sales volume, making it the most popular vehicle in the Kia lineup."

Editors from Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com judged vehicles based on characteristics that make vehicles family-friendly, including safety, comfort, economy of operation, child-friendliness, a reasonable purchase price and good resale value. The kbb.com editors believe that all of the worthy vehicles on this year's "Top 10 Family Cars of 2011" list will provide an excellent ownership experience for the families who choose to make them their own.

"The 2011 Kia Sorento is our new favorite in what we often label the two-and-a-half-row segment," say editors from Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com. "If you need three rows on a daily basis or plan on putting adults in the way back, you'll be better served by something larger. But if your three-row needs are occasional and involve at least a couple elementary-schoolers, the 2011 Kia Sorento is a more affordable, more fuel-efficient, more maneuverable alternative. A superior mix of ride, handling and interior appeal helped cement the Sorento's spot on this year's list of 'Top 10 Family Cars'."

About the 2011 Kia Sorento

The 2011 Sorento, the first vehicle to roll off the line at Kia's new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia, encompasses both the brand's signature design cues as well as its distinct combination of value, safety and style. The 2011 Sorento, which has been Kia's best-selling vehicle each month since going on sale in January 2010, offers consumers a well-equipped, well-appointed CUV, suited perfectly for the fun, dynamic and discerning driver. Available in LX, EX and SX trim levels, the 2011 Sorento features a starting MSRP of $22,395.

2011 Kia Motors America Product Line

Kia's model year 2011 vehicle line includes the Sorento CUV, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, Rio sub-compact sedan, Rio5 sub-compact hatchback and Sedona minivan.

About Kia Motors America

Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 730 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA." In 2010, KMA recorded its best-ever U.S. sales and 16th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technologies.

About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com) Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies. Kbb.com is a leading provider of new car prices, used car values, car reviews, new cars for sale, used cars for sale, and car dealer locations. Kelley Blue Book Co. Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader.com.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2011 Kia Optima SX - If Korea can do this, watch out for China

DETROIT

The traditional global automobile industry has two three-letter threats. One is Kia. The other is BYD. Kia, the other half of South Korea's Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, poses an immediate threat. BYD, a China-based energy company aspiring to produce the world's most efficient and affordable electric cars, threatens to dominate the industry's future.

In this week's column, we'll focus on Kia, which in the course of a few years has become an impressive rival to Honda, Toyota, Nissan and other companies in the business of producing midsize family automobiles.

Consider, for example, the 2011 Kia Optima SX.

The Optima's debut in 2001 was greeted with a global yawn. The car was beyond dull. It was depressing in design, engineering and performance. Its attraction - to the extent there was any - lay in its low price.

Now, a decade later, the new Optima sedan is poised to take market share from every other manufacturer selling midsize family cars in America. That includes Volkswagen of Germany, which has mounted an expensive campaign to topple Toyota from its No. 1 spot as the world's biggest manufacturer and retailer of automobiles - a goal Volkswagen hopes to reach largely through the sale of midsize family sedans such as the Jetta and the Passat.

But Volkswagen will have to deal with Kia in climbing to the top of that commercial Mount Olympus. Dealing with Kia won't be easy.

Let's examine value for dollar, a category in which Kia beats Volkswagen and practically everyone else.

The base Kia Optima LX starts at $18,995. The top-of-the-line Optima SX, driven for this column, is priced at $25,995. For 2011, pricing for the base Jetta,a stripper if ever there was one, starts at $14,995. The top-notch diesel-powered Jetta TDI carries a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $22,995.

If value for dollar were based only on pricing, the Jetta would have an edge. But the "value" part of the pricing equation speaks to what you get for what you pay. In the 2011 Kia Optima, you get more.

The exterior and interior styling of the new Optima surpass what is offered on and in the 2011 Jetta. The Optima offers more standard equipment. The new Jetta TDI, for example, has a torsion-beam rear suspension, which is less favorable in vehicle handling. The new Optima SX offers as standard equipment a more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension, which greatly enhances handling.

In short, Volkswagen's strategy is to assuage consumer price sensitivity by removing content from its vehicles, which can be viewed as a common-sense approach in economically hard times. At Volkswagen, you pay for what you get, and what you get meets consumer expectations.

Kia may have a better idea. You pay a bit more. But what you get vastly exceeds consumer expectations. It is a favorable shock, one that elicited joy and surprise from nearly everyone who got behind the wheel of the Optima SX.

Ria Manglapus, who works with me on vehicle evaluations, was so happy that I was going to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and leaving the Optima SX in her hands, she drove me to the airport.

"Wow!" she said. "What a car! I can't believe this is a Kia. Wow! Wow!"

No one expressed that kind of joy over the 2011 Jetta. People were just happy that Volkswagen had reduced the car's price. But that happiness was tempered by the realization of the "de-contenting" that Volkswagen employed in getting to that price.

At the media preview of the auto show here, the Kia stand was swarming with journalists excitedly examining the new Optima. But over at the Volkswagen display, they were puzzling over VW's introduction of a new midsize Passat family sedan. Their consensus: The new Passat is going to have to be priced just right and offer much more than consumers expect to top the Optima and its sibling Hyundai Sonata sedan in the marketplace.

A decade ago, hardly anyone would have said anything like that about anything from Kia. It causes one to wonder about the prospects of China-based BYD in the automobile business.

The company has spent millions on elaborate displays at the Detroit show in the past four years. But it has yet to offer one car in the United States.

But that day will come soon, possibly sometime in 2012, said Micheal Austin, vice president of BYD America Corp.

And when that day comes, BYD will offer all-electric and hybrid electric vehicles powered by the world's most advanced batteries, charged by wind power and other renewable energy sources, Austin said.

Don't laugh.

BYD's motto, backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development, is "Build Your Dreams."