At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Kia introduced the User-Centered Driving (UCD) concept, redefining the future of vehicle-occupant relationships.

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KIA MOTORS POSTS LARGEST GAINS IN FUEL ECONOMY AND CO2 REDUCTION AMONG ALL AUTOMAKERS IN THE U.S. ACCORDING TO 2011 EPA FUEL ECONOMY TRENDS REPORT

In its commitment to produce sustainable and fuel-efficient vehicles, Kia Motors America (KMA) has “had the biggest improvement in adjusted CO2 and fuel economy performance from MY 2009 to MY 2010” of any automaker, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest fuel economy trends reporttitled, “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 Through 2011.” Kia’s fuel economy gain from 2009 to 2010 was 11.6 percent, while its reduction in CO2 emissions was 10.1 percent, beating all other major manufacturers by considerable margins based on the EPA’s most recent data. In addition, the report shows Kia as tied for the highest Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) at 27.0 miles-per-gallon for MY 2010. Kia is ranked number two for MY 2010 CO2 values, ahead of traditional leaders such as Honda and Toyota.

“As an industry leader in fuel economy, Kia is committed to providing safe, high-quality vehicles that are socially relevant to consumers,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. “Our goal is to stay ahead of the industry by applying innovative technologies such as direct-injection and turbo charged engines to advance our efforts and continue improving on the benchmarks Kia has set in the sustainability realm.”

Kia Motors’ EcoDynamics philosophy has created a global alternative fuel and powertrain research program to develop advanced fuel-stretching and emissions-cutting technologies. In 2011, Kia introduced the brand’s first-ever hybrid vehicle in the U.S., and the 2013 Rio and Rio 5-door will be the first vehicles in the subcompact segment to offer fuel-saving Idle Stop and Go technology.

The EPA report summarizes key trends in CO2 emissions and fuel economy for gasoline- and diesel-fueled personal vehicles sold in the United States, beginning MY 1975. Overall, the automotive industry’s fleetwide average real world MY 2010 CO2 emissions and fuel economy have marked slight improvements over MY 2009 and the most favorable levels since this analysis began in 1975.

To review the EPA’s full 2011 fuel economy trends report, please visit epa.gov/otaq/fetrends.htm.

Kia’s Unprecedented Growth
Kia Motors is the one of the world’s fastest moving global automotive brands; from 2009-2011 Kia launched more new vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker, and under the guidance of chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, earned a reputation as an industry leader in automotive styling. Kia Motors America’s full line of fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive cars and CUVs has earned critical acclaim and dramatically increased consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand. In 2011, KMA recorded its 17th consecutive year of market share growth, thanks in part to the largest increase of any major brand in perceived quality1 and the industry’s highest brand loyalty ranking2. Kia’s U.S.-based manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia – KMMG – is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and builds the company’s two best-selling vehicles in the U.S. – the Sorento CUV and Optima midsize sedan3. Kia’s value and technology-laden 2012 model year lineup also includes the Sportage compact CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Optima Hybrid, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, all-new Rio and Rio5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.

Courtesy of Kia

KIA RACING ANNOUNCES DRIVER LINEUP FOR 2012 PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE CHAMPIONSHIPS SEASON

Kia Motors America (KMA) will become the first Korean manufacturer to compete in the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC), and together with racing partner Kinetic Motorsports, Kia Racing has assembled a world-class driver lineup for the 2012 season, which begins on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, March 24. Fresh off his 2011 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Team title, five-time World Challenge Drivers’ champion Michael Galati will drive the No. 36 Optima SX in the GTS class. Racing side-by-side with Galati will be Kia Racing’s newest team member, 23-year-old Colin Braun, driving the No. 38 Optima.

“The Kia Racing team and Kinetic Motorsports have performed incredibly well in just three years of professional competition and launching the Optima Turbo into World Challenge marks another exciting step in the growth of our brand,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. “With the talent we have behind the wheel and in the shop, Kia Racing has become a world-class motorsport organization, and everyone at Kia is looking forward to being a part of it for 2012.”

With his 2011 GRAND-AM championships now in the record books, driver Michael Galati is ready to get the World Challenge season rolling. “Getting to drive for Kia Racing and Kinetic Motorsports again is a fantastic opportunity,” said Galati.”We experienced great success last year in GRAND-AM with the Forte Koup winning Kia’s first-ever road racing championship, and hopefully we can keep that momentum going in World Challenge with this new turbocharged Optima racecar. The car already handles exceptionally well and is incredibly fast, despite the limited testing we’ve done. I can’t wait to get on the track at St. Pete.”

Bringing a diverse background to the Kia Racing program that ranges from open-wheel formula cars all the way to NASCAR stockers, Colin Braun joins the team having amassed 17 years of competitive driving success. Braun’s racing resume includes stints in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series with Krohn Racing, the NASCAR Nationwide Series with Roush-Fenway Racing and, most recently, the Camping World Truck Series with Billy Ballew Motorsports.

“I’m really looking forward to being a part of such a successful team, and to play a role in Kia’s expansion into World Challenge is truly exciting,” said Braun. “The Kia Optima Turbo race car is absolutely stunning and while it’s still very early in its development, I’m totally psyched for the 2012 season and showing this car off around the country to all the World Challenge fans.”

With two Optima Turbo sedans assembled at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) and two highly-skilled drivers on the team, spirits are running high for the team as Kia’s PWC debut nears. Kia and Kinetic Motorsports will salute the team members who work at the automaker’s assembly plant in West Point, Ga., on Tuesday, March 27 for the first public unveiling of the racecars.

“Kinetic Motorsports is very excited with KMA’s expansion of its racing program to include the turbocharged Optimas in World Challenge. The task of developing the Optima into a competitive GTS car is a challenge that we are looking forward to,” said Russell Smith, owner of Kinetic Motorsports. “Together with the Optima World Challenge, the B-Spec Rio entering at the grassroots level and the No. 10 and 12 Forte Koups defending their GRAND-AM titles, it should make for a very busy year for us and an entertaining one for Kia Racing fans everywhere.”

Round 1 and 2 of the 2012 PWC season kick off at the Streets of St. Petersburg on Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25. Check out live race status, photos, and updates at facebook.com/kiaracing and watch live race streaming at world-challengetv.com. Race fans can also tune in to see the racing action on the new NBC Sports Network on Sunday, April 8 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Courtesy of Kia