The newest model in Kia’s expanding line-up, the exciting Kia Soul urban crossover, is beating the current economic gloom and is already attracting thousands of new customers to Kia showrooms all across Europe. Although Soul has only been fully on sale since January, Soul sales in Europe have already passed the 5,000 mark this year and are running at a level 13% higher than Kia predicted.
“Kia Soul marks a revolutionary expansion of the Kia product range,” comments Mr Panu Vainamo, General Manager Marketing, Kia Motors Europe. “Soul is a bold statement of Kia’s determination to succeed as one of the world’s top automotive companies. It appeals especially to the young and the young-at-heart and order books for 2009 are looking very strong. Soul is a car that challenges consumers to rethink everything they know about Kia. With this new model we are dramatically demonstrating that Kia products have ‘stand-out’ design qualities and an emotional appeal to consumers.”
Soul is a five-door hatchback with front-wheel drive, a high roofline and an unusually long (2550 mm) wheelbase. The key dimensions behind its striking appearance are vertical measurements. Overall height is 1,610 mm, the base of the windscreen is 135 mm higher than a typical compact car, the hip-points are 120 mm higher and the ground clearance is raised by 45 mm. Access to the new Kia Soul’s spacious interior is remarkably easy and the cabin can accommodate five adults in genuine comfort.
In Europe, Soul customers are offered a choice of 1.6-litre gasoline and diesel engines, each generating 126 ps. With a five-speed manual transmission, the diesel model records fuel consumption of 5.1 litres/100 km, with a CO2 figure of just 137 g/km. The gasoline model can accelerate to 100 kph in 10.4 seconds. All models are sold with a special Kia 5-Year Warranty.
The Kia Soul is already a multi-award winner. In Germany, Soul was the first Korean car ever to receive the prestigious recognition of a design award from the world renowned RedDot product design competition. In the UK, Fast Car magazine named Soul the ‘Best New Model for 2009’ and this week in the USA, Ward’s AutoWorld announced the winners of its annual ‘Interior of the Year’ awards. Soul was named ‘Grooviest Interior’ winning its class when looks, value, safety, comfort and convenience were assessed.
Marketing of the Kia Soul gets underway in the USA and Australia this month. In Europe, Soul’s monthly sales rate is accelerating, with 1,334 cars delivered in January, the keys for a further 1,485 cars handed to customers in February and an additional 2,172 units being driven away from Kia dealer showrooms in March.
Kia Soul sales in Europe, Q1 2009 (Top 6 countries)
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Kia Motors Europe
Kia Motors Europe is the European sales, marketing, and service arm of Kia Motors Corporation. With its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, it covers 32 markets in Europe.
About Kia Motors Corporation
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.com) – a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart – was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world’s premier automotive brands. More than 1.4 million vehicles a year are produced at 13 manufacturing and assembly operations in nine countries. These vehicles are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 172 countries. Kia today has more than 40,000 employees and annual revenues of almost US$17 billion.
It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open. Kia is also an official automotive partner of FIFA – the governing body of the FIFA World Cup – as well as a EUROTOP partner of UEFA. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan – ‘The Power to Surprise’ – represents the company’s global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.