Kia eyes a move into UK motorsport

In Kia by Jonathan HumphreyLeave a Comment

Kia is eyeing up UK motorsport with the Touring Car Championship being seen as interesting…

The head of the Kia in the UK, Paul Philpott is keen to emphasise the sporty nature of Kia and to help differentiate it from its more conservative sister brand, Hyundai which is re-entering the World Rally Championship.

Philpott said: “Motorsport is an interesting proposition for us and Touring Cars is an interesting area that we are looking at. It will help set the two brands apart and would help increase awareness of Kia.

With the arrival of the Kia pro_cee’d GT very soon, there are some sporty Kia’s on the horizon.

“From a global perspective, Hyundai is perceived as more premium, luxury and with an older buyer profile. Kia is the slightly younger, sportier sibling. I would like to see something a little more sporty about the brand, I’m not saying everything should look like a coupe, but there are niches we can explore such as our B-segment SUV concept that we showed at the Geneva Motor Show.”

Another important differentiator between the brands will be the appointment of Kia’s design chief Peter Schreyer to oversee the styling of both. Philpott, who has also headed up Kia’s European operations, said: “Peter has created a recognisable design face for Kia and he can now start to address the differentiation between the products.

“When you are sharing platforms and components the only differentiator is design and despite the success of Hyundai and Kia in recent years the look of the cars has perhaps been a bit too close.”

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