Kia's power to succee'd in Europe

Kia's senior executive vice-president described it as the "realisation of Kia's European dream" while addressing the media during the official international launch of the Kia C'eed in Rome late last year. In fact the name itself, C'eed, reflects Kia's new philosophy to sow their seeds in Europe.

"The C'eed," Jung-Moon Park added, "is the first-ever Kia intended from its conception for the European market, and has been entirely designed and manufactured in Europe.

"With the new Kia C'eed we are presenting consumers in Europe with a very surprising family car, with excellent performance and quality, a clean modern appearance and an exceptional warranty. The Cee'd marks a major turning point in Kia's history."

Also speaking at the press conference was Jean Charles Lievens, senior vice-president Europe, who outlined the values the car was built around, mainly "quality, trustworthiness, dynamism and customer choice", adding that with the CAE's Kia have introduced a qualitative revolution reflecting the corporate brand slogan "the power to surprise".

Designed by the Kia teams in Germany and Korea, the Cee'd will be manufactured at Kia's all-new manufacturing facility in Zilina, Slovakia, and is set to enter and lead in the closely fought European C (lower medium) segment. It is being marketed in Europe.

Twenty five-door hatchback models with three equipment levels in 12 colours have been launched so far and these will soon be joined by a range of five-door sporty wagon and three-door sporty hatch models later this year.

The range of five engines will include a 1.4-, 1.6- and 2.0-litre CWT petrol engines and an all new 1.6-litre VGT diesel engine, with a 2.0-litre VGT diesel engine from the summer.

"The Cee'd is going to look better, feel better, drive better and sell better and is certain to revolutionise Kia's fortunes in this sector," Mr Lievens said.

Designed to be tough not rough, the Cee'd's aerodynamics were devised in Kia's world-class wind tunnel in Korea, while several consumer clinics were set up during the development stage for consumer approval.

Its all new chassis platform, suspension systems and bodyshell engineering have achieved durability, refinement, safety, handling and ride quality benefits.

The inside is also designed to suit European tastes, including a driver-focused cockpit and controls, a floating style centre console, spacious seating for five (taking in consideration the average build of Europeans), and more storage and luggage space.

Code-named ED (European Design), when still in the initial stages, the Cee'd is also one of the safest C-segment cars with high levels of active and passive features, including six airbags as standard.

Kia is anticipating that demand for the new Cee'd will reach 100,000 units this year and will rise to 150,000 units annually in Europe from 2008.

Local agents of Kia Motors have maintained the brand slogan power to surprise and will be surprising all customers with an unprecedented warranty on the car when it is presented to the public at the motor show in next month.

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