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Report: Kia may lose names, use numbers for future models

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Report: Kia may lose names, use numbers for future models

by Jonathon Ramsey (RSS feed) on Jun 28th 2010 at 11:01AM

Would a Kia Forte by any other name smell as sweet, if the name were K3 and those judging the smell were American buyers? That's the question Kia executive are mulling as they decide whether to switch to alphanumeric model designations in the U.S. Some of the company's cars that go by names in other markets wear letter-number identifiers in South Korea, such as the Optima, known in South Korea as the K5. Others, such as the Soul and Sportage, retain their proper names in South Korea.

According to Automotive News, Kia's vice chairman, Chung Eui-sun, believes that alphanumeric names can strengthen a brand as long as buyers don't get confused, but he also notes that Americans may prefer proper names. Kia would probably do well to study Acura's long road from "Legend" and "Integra" to its current system, and Infiniti's period of trial-and-error with its alphanumeric concoctions.

From where we sit, we think that Kia should think long and hard about the equity continuing to build in solid offerings like its Soul and new Sorento, and if they're going to go alphanumeric, they ought to do it sooner rather than later to avoid adding to the confusion. If it were us, we'd leave well enough alone – the automotive landscape is rapidly devolving into an alphanumeric soup and we're not in favor of another automaker reaching into the Scrabble tilebag. How about you? Have your say in 'Comments.'

link:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/06/28/report-kia-may-lose-names-use-numbers-for-future-models/

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KIA Contemplating Switch to Alphanumeric Names in the U.S. [with Poll]

MONDAY, JUNE 28, 2010

Kia may soon follow the increasingly popular automotive trend that is alphanumeric naming and abandon product names in its U.S. lineup, according to a recent statement by Hyundai Motor Co. Vice Chairman, Chung Eui-sun.

The automaker is already using a mix of alphanumeric and product names in South Korea and some other markets. For example, the recently revealed 2011 Optima and Cadenza sedans are known as the K5 and K7 respectively in the company's home market, while the Forte is said to become the K3.

In an interview, Chung said that while he admits American buyers may prefer cars with names as it makes a comprehensive vehicle lineup less confusing, he also believes that alphanumerics can also increase the strength of a brand. Autonews reported that the South Korean automaker has not made a final decision yet on the name switch for the American market.

Source: Autonews (Sub. Req.)

link:

http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2010/06/kia-contemplating-switch-to.html

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67impss    89

They should keep the names and not try to be XYZ Motor Corp. otherwise they will always be compaired oranges to apples. It hurt Pontiac is VERY confusing with Caddy & Lincoln Names have personality Alpha/Numeric's don't. Good point about Acura but hey we don't even pronounce that name right and they even gave us the correct pronunciation in their Brand Launch Commercial. :confused0071:

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Intrepidation    846

I don't think they should lose names, just come up with better ones. Honestly, the lame names are what in my mind holds the company back, since the cars are so good now.

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Paolino    99

So, if Kia starts using numbers for future models does that mean luxury makes will use names again? Lexus Luxury Sedan 460? Cadillac Cadillac Touring Sedan Coupe?

This has gotten out of control.

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regfootball    234

Kia will lose out if they do this. Their models are starting to develop a rep. Optima, Rio, Sorento, now Forte, previously Spectra.

Don't do this Kia.

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Interesting...in the UK, Kia uses names (Rio, Soul, Magentis, cee'd, pro_cee'd, etc) and Hyundai has a mix of names (Sonata, Matrix, Grandeur, Santa Fe) and alpha numerics (i10, i20, i30, ix35, etc).

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