Kia Intends to be the First Brand to Launch a Super Bowl Commercial on Facebook Messenger

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On the verge of making its eighth straight appearance in the big game, Kia Motors has announced plans to debut the brand’s Super Bowl commercial on the NiroBot for Messenger on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Starring actress Melissa McCarthy, the ad is the centerpiece of a multi-faceted marketing campaign for the all-new 2017 Niro which blends crossover style and utility with exceptional fuel economy of up to 50 mpg combined for the FE trim.  

“With its advanced technology and tremendous efficiency, the Niro sets a new standard in the market, and being the first bot for Messenger to debut a Super Bowl ad reinforces the idea that our newest crossover is like nothing consumers have ever seen before,” said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and EVP, Kia Motors America (KMA).

I went and talked with the NiroBot myself, and here's a peek at what happened:

NiroBot Messenger - Smail Kia Blog

Kia was one of the first automotive manufacturers to utilize the bot platform and has achieved more than half a million engagements since the NiroBot was launched in November 2016. Developed and implemented by Ansible, KMA’s agency partner, the interactive NiroBot chat experience includes guided vehicle discovery, expansive technical knowledge, step-by-step tutorials and test drive scheduling.

Created by David&Goliath, KMA’s advertising agency of record, the ad traces a heroic and harrowing journey stretching from the polar ice caps to an arid desert, and continues to prove why the Niro is “a smarter kind of crossover.”

A key component to Kia Motors’ Green Car Roadmap, the Niro is a no-compromise choice that combines driving enjoyment with eye-catching design, functional utility and hybrid efficiency, thereby striking the perfect balance for today’s consumers and staking claim to a unique position between the hybrid-electric vehicle and CUV segments. As part of Kia Motors EcoDynamics philosophy, the Niro represents an important next step on the path to nearly tripling the brand’s global green car line-up by 2020.  A plug-in hybrid powertrain is due to be added to the car’s line-up later in its life-cycle.

For more information, visit SmailKia.com.


Emmy Award Winner Melissa McCarthy Provides the Voiceover for the First in a Series of Ads for Kia’s Newest Hybrid Vehicle

Fresh off receiving a Guinness World Record title for the lowest fuel consumption driving across the USA from coast to coast (hybrid car), the all-new 2017 Kia Niro makes its television debut this week with two 15-second spots narrated by Melissa McCarthy. The spots are the first broadcast components of a multi-channel marketing campaign that will expand in the coming weeks, including an original 60-second spot set to air during Super Bowl LI and starring McCarthy alongside Kia’s newest hybrid.

Created by David&Goliath, Kia Motors America’s advertising agency of record, the 15-second “Many Names” and “Need/Want” spots highlight the all-new Niro’s no-compromise combination of driving enjoyment, eye-catching design, functional utility and hybrid efficiency.  Arriving soon at Kia retailers nationwide, the Niro strikes the perfect balance for today’s consumers and stakes claim to a unique position between the hybrid-electric vehicle and CUV segments. 

“The Niro blends great looks, real-world utility and outstanding fuel economy together in a way that consumers haven’t seen before, and these initial marketing elements focus on the fact that there’s now ‘a smarter kind of crossover’ out there for consumers to discover,” said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and EVP, Kia Motors America. “We’ve got a fantastic story to tell about the Niro’s uniquely alluring yet practical package, and the incredibly talented Melissa McCarthy is the perfect partner to help us do it.” 

For more information, visit SmailKia.com.

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2018 Kia Stinger Receives EyesOn Design Award for Production Car Design Excellence

2018 Kia Stinger Receives EyesOn Design Award for Production Car Design Excellence - Smail Kia Blog

Kia Motors America’s all-new 2018 Stinger fastback sedan has been honored with an EyesOn Design award for Production Car Design Excellence at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.  At an event typically dominated by introductions from American auto companies, Kia’s stinger stole the spotlight. 

“We’ve made a lot of great cars and I’m proud of all of them, but the Stinger is something special,” said Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ chief design officer. 

The EyesOn Design Awards honor the best production and concept vehicles making their worldwide auto show debut at the NAIAS.  This year's categories include Concept Car; Production Car; Concept Truck; Production Truck; Innovative Use of Color, Graphics and Materials; Interior Design; User Experience Award and Designer Catalyst.

The all-new 2018 Kia Stinger design was overseen by Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ chief design officer, and Gregory Guillaume, chief designer, Kia Motors Europe. 

Brimming with power, passion and performance, the 2018 Kia Stinger is a sport sedan dedicated to the thrill of driving while cossetting occupants in luxury.  From its sleek front clip through its svelte flanks, and up to its powerful haunches, the Stinger exudes a muscular confidence.  The Stinger’s stance and visual balance are designed to lend the car an air of elegance and athleticism, rather than boy-racer aggression.  Inside is a purposeful cabin that is luxurious and exquisitely crafted.  A strong horizontal plane across the dash presents the driver with a thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel.  Front and center of the driver is a single instrument binnacle with a combination of analog and digital instrumentation.  Set to go on sale later this year, the Stinger is backed by Kia Motors’ industry-leading quality and reliability.

EyesOn Design Awards are the officially-sanctioned design awards for the NAIAS. Considered the validation of great automobile design from the industry's leaders, the EyesOn Design awards are prominently displayed in design studios around the world.

For more information, visit SmailKia.com.


2018 Kia Stinger Makes World Debut at North American International Auto Show

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Powerful all-new Fastback Sport Sedan Redefines the Kia Brand

At an event typically dominated by introductions from American auto companies, Kia Motors America (KMA) today stole the spotlight with the world debut of the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger (hereafter Stinger) at the North American International Auto Show.  A five-passenger fastback sports sedan poised to redefine a segment currently populated by European automakers, the Stinger promises to be the highest-performance production vehicle in the company’s history and is backed by Kia Motors’ industry-leading quality and reliability.  Offered with multiple engine and drivetrain configurations and luxurious accommodations, the Stinger is planned to go on sale in the U.S. late this year.  Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch date.

“Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us, and here today in Detroit, that dream is now a reality after years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, Kia Motors America. “From its GT concept-car origins to the years of tuning and refining on the legendary Nurburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning.”

Instantly recognizable as a direct evolution of the concept that preceded it, the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger design was overseen by Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ chief design officer, and his talented team of designers in Frankfurt.  Ride and handling development was looked after by Albert Biermann, head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development and his group of engineers in Korea and on the grueling Nurburgring racing circuit.  

But what makes a true gran turismo?  This question was the foundation for a years-long journey that began when the GT concept was first unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.  Although every Kia design study has a purpose, the GT concept was something considered by many outside the company as little more than a dream for a brand known for producing mass-market transportation rooted in value.  But the GT ignited embers of passion that sparked a fire within the organization and over the next five years that fire would grow beyond fantasy and morph into reality.

Once the Stinger was green lighted, that gran turismo question became a mantra as development commenced.  Coming from Kia, the design had to be bold.  And it was.  But it also had to be nimble and fast while also luxurious and quiet.  It had to achieve the perfect balance of ride and handling and seat five comfortably with room for luggage. It had to be a lot of things, but most of all, it had to be an authentic gran turismo.  And it is.

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Read more and see more photos:

Continue reading "2018 Kia Stinger Makes World Debut at North American International Auto Show" »


The Curve Ahead - Episode 4 "Attention To Detail"

We get our best glimpses yet of Kia's new vehicle in Episode 4 of "The Curve Ahead." Titled "Attention to Detail," the video features close up shots of the car set to gentle music. A headlight, side view mirror, a sunroof leading inside to get a peak of the interior. It's just enough to keep us wanting more! We're only a few days from the end of the countdown.

Here's the latest description from Kia:

The curve ahead represents unchartered territory, or a journey into the unknown. As an exciting new paradigm of performance beckons, it’s Kia’s attention to daring design detail that makes the journey more alluring. “This new vehicle is going to fundamentally change the global image of Kia. It will revolutionize the way people think about the brand and propel us upwards into a different era. You cannot believe how excited I am about this car.” - Peter Schreyer, President & Chief Design Officer - Kia Motors Corporation

If you're behind the curve, (pardon the pun), click here for Episodes One and Two and Three. For more information, visit SmailKia.com.

Continue reading "The Curve Ahead - Episode 4 "Attention To Detail"" »


The Curve Ahead - Episode 3 "The Silhouette"

 

Curiosity is the desire, the need, to learn more. On the road, it is the fascination about what lies beyond the curve ahead.

Kia is teasing a big announcement with a campaign called "The Curve Ahead." There is a countdown on a website, along with this mysterious message: "For curious minds, the curve ahead is all about potential, as a new paradigm of performance beckons in the distance. Join us here for the official countdown to the world premiere and find out what awaits through the curve ahead."

They are also releasing video hints as 6:00 pm on January 8th, 2017 draws closer. This episode called "The Silhouette" shows us even more:

"The curve, and the sense of curiosity, is also brought to life in the concave, fastback silhouette of Kia’s long-awaited all-new car. Inspired by a concept, Kia’s newest vehicle marries heart-pounding performance with purposeful and progressive design."

Go to www.thecurveahead.net to view exciting new content. Then, SmailKia.com.

Continue reading "The Curve Ahead - Episode 3 "The Silhouette"" »


Mysterious Countdown: The Curve Ahead - Episodes 1 & 2

 

 



Sleek Sophistication. Head-Turning Design. Heart-Pounding Performance.

Kia is teasing a big announcement with a campaign called "The Curve Ahead." There is a countdown on a website, along with this mysterious message: "For curious minds, the curve ahead is all about potential, as a new paradigm of performance beckons in the distance. Join us here for the official countdown to the world premiere and find out what awaits through the curve ahead."

It also appears that they will be releasing video hints as 6:00 pm on January 8th, 2017 draws closer. The latest hypes acceleration and speed, "0-to-100 kph. A benchmark for any car operating on a higher level of performance, and the number that enthusiasts look for first. The fastest-accelerating Kia to date represents a new paradigm of performance, its heart-pounding power encouraging you to grip the wheel a little more tightly."

What will be the big announcement? Stay tuned to TheCurveAhead.net for updates, and keep checking back to SmailKia.com.

Continue reading "Mysterious Countdown: The Curve Ahead - Episodes 1 & 2" »


Kia Soul Earns Car and Driver 10Best Trucks and SUVs Award

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Kia Motors America is pleased to announce that Car and Driver has named the Soul to its 10Best Trucks and SUVs list, which recognizes 2017’s best trucks and SUVs on the market.  Thanks to its colorful personality, the Soul stood out among competitors in its segment, while its extensive list of features and excellent value further helped it land a spot on the esteemed list.

“We are honored that Car and Driver has named the Soul to its ‘10Best Trucks and SUVs’ list,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning KMA. “The Soul has been an extraordinary success story for the Kia brand, and earning this award is a testament to our continued commitment to world-class quality and top-notch design that can be – in the Soul’s case – as funky as it is functional.”

An expansion of the 10Best franchise, which has awarded the ten best cars on the market in each January issue for the past 35 years, the 10Best Trucks and SUVs awards are organized around segments and recognize one honoree from each category, including subcompact SUV, subcompact luxury SUV, compact SUV, compact luxury SUV, mid-size SUV, mid-size luxury SUV, large SUV, mid-size pickup, full-size pickup, and van.

“The current Soul has maintained the funky charm of the first-generation model with design—inside and out—that manages to be both fresh and genuinely attractive, attributes that are often at odds,” writes Car and Driver.

For 2017, the Soul gains a 201-hp 1.6-liter turbocharged engine for more fun than ever. Though the 1.6-liter turbo engine adds 40 horsepower, fuel economy is 28 miles-per-gallon, city and highway combined —slightly better than the combined mileage of the 2.0-liter normally-aspirated 161-hp engine in the Soul Plus and in the Soul Base 1.6-liter, which produces 130 horsepower. Performance in the turbocharged Exclaim is further enhanced by the addition of a new 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), which contributes to a more engaging driving experience. Other new options for the 2017 model year are convenience systems such as Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection. The 2017 Exclaim also gets standard UVO3 with e-Services with integrated Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

For more information, please visit SmailKia.com.


Kia Launches Interactive "NiroBot" in Facebook Messenger

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To promote the launch of the new 2017 Kia Niro hybrid crossover, Kia Motor Company has launched a bot in the Facebook Messenger app, appropriately called "NiroBot," to deliver instant access to comprehensive product information for the all-new 2017 Niro which is scheduled to begin arriving in showrooms soon.

The NiroBot chat experience features full screen galleries, guided vehicle discovery, expansive technical knowledge, step-by-step tutorials, test drive scheduling and more.

“The all-new Niro is like nothing else on the road today, and kicking off our pre-launch strategy by breaking new ground with our bot for Messenger that will make the new car research process much easier and more efficient for shoppers,” said Kimberley Gardiner, director of marketing, KMA. “The user friendly interface combines the experience of being in a showroom with the convenience and mobility today’s car buyers are looking for as users interact with the NiroBot at their own pace and focus on the specific areas that interest them most.”   

The NiroBot will offer real-time, interactive product modules, galleries and specifications, as well as the ability to schedule test drives in advance of the vehicle’s arrival in dealerships.  

Developed and implemented by Ansible, KMA’s agency partner, NiroBot features full screen galleries, guided vehicle discovery, rich product specification menus, deep linking to kia.com, expansive technical information regarding the vehicle, step-by-step tutorials and test drive scheduling calendars on an easy-to-use interface.  Additionally, the NiroBot can connect the user to a live Kia representative at any time during engagement.

“Word of mouth remains the most influential, and coveted, form of brand communication. However, when launching a car and building awareness in a crowded marketplace it’s hard to achieve,” said Travis Johnson, global president, Ansible. “We created the NiroBot to be everywhere our customers are – in chat platforms – and allow them to have a natural conversation about the Niro enhanced throughout by multimedia such as videos, images, links and even the ability to register for a test drive.”

For more info, check out the Kia Niro page, and keep an eye on SmailKia.com for when they are in stock.


First Gear - 2017 Kia Forte S - Review and Test Drive

 

 




 

Get a closer look at a 2017 Kia Forte S. I explore the exterior and interior of the vehicle before taking it for a brief test drive. What makes our First Gear series different from some other review shows is that I'm not a "car guy" or a salesman. I just like to push buttons and search for secret compartments to see what I can discover. You'll see me give my initial impressions of each vehicle, and follow up with any questions to a Smail sales representative.

I was pretty impressed with this Forte with the S trim. It was much more sporty than I expected, very fun to drive. It also has lots of interior room, and it so many features that you would expect to only find in more expensive vehicles. The large display screen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto is impressive.

If you want more information about our available Kia Forte at Smail, visit our website here. And don't forget to check out this playlist of all of our First Gear episodes.