Kia Motors was among the biggest winners at the Automotive Brand Contest 2014, an annual international design competition run by the German Design Council for automotive brands. The independent jury for the awards picked Kia as the winner in three categories.
The Kia design team, led by Peter Schreyer, President and Chief Designer of Kia Motors Corporation and Hyundai Motor Group, won the ‘Team of the Year’ title for its work across three continents. Kia Motors has design centers in Korea, California and Germany.
Two prizes were also awarded to Kia vehicles. The Kia Provo, a sporty B-segment concept car unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, was named ‘Best of Best’ in the Concepts category, while the second generation of the cult compact SUV, the Kia Soul, was distinguished as ‘Winner’ in the Exterior Volume Brand category. The award presentation took place on October 1st at the Paris Motor Show.
“Peter Schreyer and his international team have done a grand job over the past few years,” the jury stated, justifying its choice for the special ‘Team of the Year’ award. “In an apparently saturated environment of formal possibilities for the Kia brand, they have come up with a unique brand design that stands out from the crowd and gives it an unmistakable face.”
Peter Schreyer commented, “This triple triumph is a fantastic endorsement of the work done by our design team, who absolutely deserve this success. I am thrilled about the awards and proud of my team.
“First-class automobile design doesn’t happen by accident; it’s the product of a continuous process based on passion and attention to detail. And only by striving for a lively exchange of ideas, and by being open to influences from different areas, is it possible to be really creative. The most important aspect, however, is team spirit, which can even reduce to nothing the distances between continents. The Kia design team consists of people of roughly 20 nationalities, languages and cultures – and yet every team member brings to the job the same passionate motivation to create something unmistakably Kia.”
B-segment design stars: Kia Provo concept and new Kia Soul
The Kia Provo concept stands out with its distinctively sleek, aerodynamic, and muscular design. Developed at Kia’s European design center in Frankfurt, Germany, the 3.88 meter-long B-segment vehicle is a car built entirely to cater to European tastes, and created to deliver a new interpretation of the DNA of sporting coupés of the past.
The Provo boasts all the advantages of cutting-edge materials and technologies, such as a smart four-wheel drive hybrid powertrain. It combines a Turbo GDI engine producing 150 kW with an electric motor delivering an additional power surge to the rear wheels when required, and also allowing for emissions-free, electric-only motion at low speeds.
For the new Kia Soul this latest title is the third prestigious design award after the ‘IF product design award’ and the ‘red dot award’. The exterior design of the second model generation was created at Kia’s design center in Irvine, California.
Compared with the original Kia Soul, it is a completely new car with a new design, interior and vehicle platform – but its character and distinguishing features have been preserved: the upright, self-confident posture, broad shoulders, characteristic window graphics, the high positioning of the rear lights and its SUV-like ground clearance.
The interior, for which the development was led by the Frankfurt design team, with support from the team in Namyang, Korea, is characterized by a stylish design, high-quality materials and new premium comfort elements (such as seat ventilation in the front, electrically adjustable driver’s seat and heated steering wheel, depending on model). The new Soul is also the first Kia with a two-tone body color (optional).
German Design Council: a long tradition of design competence
The Automotive Brand Contest, established in 2011, has quickly developed into a highly respected design competition. It is held by the German Design Council (Rat für Formgebung), which was founded in 1953 as an initiative of the German Federal Parliament to strengthen the design competence of the German economy. Today, this foundation counts among the world’s leading competence centers for communication and knowledge transfer in the field of design.
The independent institution is sponsored by more than 200 companies, from both Germany and abroad. The Automotive Brand Contest is open to all companies in the automobile industry and their partners in the supply industry, and in the fields of design and brand communications. There are ten award categories and four special award categories covering the entire design spectrum – from vehicle design and concepts, to brand design and multimedia networking, to campaigns and events.