A trifecta of prestigious international design awards has confirmed what the public and media experts have been saying - Kia stands out from the crowd.
Kia’s baby Rio, winner of the Carsguide Car Of The Year for 2011 and Australia’s Best Car for the Light Cars under $20,000 segment, picked up a pair of prestigious international awards for its styling, quality, innovation and practical capabilities.
The Rio was awarded a 2012 Red Dot Design Award in March this year against the best the world has to offer, and backed up this month with a bronze medal in the transportation design category of the IDEA (International Design Excellence Awards) program, administered by the Industrial Design Society of America.
Since its inception in 1955, the Red Dot Design award has become one of the world’s largest and most recognized design competitions. This year 1800 companies from 58 countries submitted to the Red Dot product design category.
The new Kia Rio was awarded thanks to its “powerful personality, created by a distinct wedge shape, a low roofline and its metal-to-glass ratio”. The jury praised not only the Rio’s self-contained design, but also its sound workmanship. Kia has won six Red Dot awards since 2009 with vehicles like the Soul, Optima and Sportage.
The IDEA awards are decided on by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and recognize designs that affect a person’s quality of life in 18 categories. This year, the Kia Rio received Bronze honours in the Transportation category.
The judging panel cited its fresh, sporty feeling; exciting design, and environmental credentials, saying “the Rio is a car that is extremely attractive with a fresh feeling of sportiness _ a car that people will want to buy for its looks as well as its environmental credentials In the 2012 model Kia created a car that answers consumer demand for more quality, more choice and a more attractive, exciting design.”
The third leg of the design trifecta went to the Picanto which, in addition to a Red Dot Design Award, collected an iF (International Design Forum) Award from the Hanover-based global design recognition organization.
Founded in 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry, Kia is currently Korea’s second largest car manufacturer and it’s oldest. From the company’s production of Korea’s first domestic bicycle, Kia moved on to producing Korea’s first motorcycle and the country’s first truck. Kia then became the first company in Korea to locally produce petrol car engines and the first domestic diesel engine. In 1979, Kia’s quality car production was recognised by the fact that two of the world’s leading European car makers chose the Korean car maker to build their ‘range topper’ models on their behalf – the Peugeot 604 and Fiat 132. But it was in the 1980s that Kia’s growth really took off. In 1986 Ford joined the list of car makers who looked to Kia to produce cars to be sold under their name, with the Festiva joining Ford’s line up first in the USA, then across the world, including in Australia for where Kia produced two generations of Ford’s entry-level car. Today, Kia produces a remarkably diverse range of vehicles sold in 190 countries around the world.