Tag: car

Kia Soul Named Best Car Deal Under $15,000

Kia Soul Named Best Car Deal Under $15,000 - Get Yours At VanDevere





IRVINE, Calif., March 7, 2013 – Kia Motors America (KMA) has been one of the fastest-growing car companies in the United States over the last five years1, and its top-selling urban passenger vehicle, the Soul, adds another award to the collection after being named one of the “Best Car Deals Under $15,000” by Reader’s Digest.  Announced in the March issue of Reader’s Digest, five cars were awarded this distinction with the Soul standing out for its innovative design and technological advancements.

“The Soul is the vehicle that sparked Kia’s design led transformation back in 2009, and it has been a runaway hit ever since,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. “Inclusion in the Reader’s Digest list is another great honor for Kia, recognizing our funky urban passenger vehicle’s winning combination of technology and value.  It’s gratifying that the vehicle that jumpstarted our unprecedented growth continues to resonate so well.”

The Soul was named the best car for high-tech drivers, with Reader’s Digest editors noting that the base model offers customers Bluetooth®2 hands free connectivity and USB connections for audio and recognizing the Eco package for its focus on efficiency.

Reader’s Digest aims to enrich our readers’ lives by helping them navigate and discover high-quality products in the marketplace,” said Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief and chief content officer, Readers Digest.  “We chose the Kia Soul for tech-savvy drivers, based on its value, amenities, design and that it’s packed with new technology that will help simplify their lives.”

About the 2013 Soul
Refreshed for the 2013 model year the Soul features technology and styling upgrades, bringing a new level of cool with enhanced power and efficiency. New for 2013 are power-folding side mirrors, darkened chrome around the signature grille, upgraded leather on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, standard Bluetooth® wireless technology with steering wheel-mounted controls, standard steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and cruise control. The Soul now offers Idle Stop and Go (ISG) technology as part of the Eco Package which senses when the vehicle is stopped and shuts off the engine to maximize efficiency and results in reduced engine load and less fuel consumption.

Kia’s Unprecedented Growth
Kia Motors America is one of only three auto brands to increase U.S. sales in each of the past four years, and in 2012 the company surpassed the 500,000 unit mark for the first time. With a full line of fun-to-drive cars and CUVs, Kia is advancing value to new levels of sophistication by combining European-influenced styling – under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer – with cutting-edge technologies, premium amenities, affordable pricing and the lowest cost of ownership in the industry. Kia recently joined the exclusive ranks of Interbrand’s “Top 100 Best Global Brands,” and is poised to continue its momentum with seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles scheduled to arrive in showrooms in 2013. Over the past decade Kia Motors has invested more than $1.4 billion in the U.S., including the company’s first U.S. assembly plant in West Point, Georgia – Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia – which is responsible for the creation of more than 11,000 plant and supplier jobs. The success of the U.S.-built* Optima and Sorento in two of the industry’s largest segments has fueled Kia’s rapid growth and is complemented by Kia’s comprehensive lineup which includes the Soul urban passenger vehicle, Sportage compact CUV, Optima Hybrid, the Forte sedan, 5-door and Koup compacts, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and the Sedona minivan.

About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 765 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the “Official Automotive Partner” of the NBA. In 2012, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and gained U.S. market share for the 18th consecutive year. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.

Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its website – www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.

About Reader’s Digest
Reader’s Digest simplifies and enriches consumers’ lives by discovering and expertly selecting the most interesting ideas, stories, experiences and products in health, home, family, food, finance and humor. Recognized by 99% of American adults, Reader’s Digest is available in print; online at ReadersDigest.com; via digital download on iPad, mobile apps, Kindle, Kindle Fire, Nook, Sony Reader and Zinio; books and home entertainment products; Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.

Don’t Look Now: A Car That Tweets


Undaunted by fear of safety regulations, auto makers are piling new technologies into their vehicles: everything from 17-inch dashboard screens to services that check Facebook and buy movie tickets.

WSJ’s Joe White has details of new technologies being piled into vehicles, everything from 17-inch dashboard screens to abilities to check Facebook and purchase movie tickets. Photo: Tesla Motors

This newfound confidence comes as a push for national regulations governing driving and cellphone use—including the suggestion of a total ban—has petered out.

With Americans increasingly glued to devices and their constant flow of information, the auto makers are rolling out what they call the “connected car.” These vehicles can do everything from book a restaurant to delivering Twitter feeds—all at 65 miles an hour.

There is more to come, too. Software to import iPhone and Android applications is around the corner.

Gadgetry is taking on added importance for the auto makers, who are starting to fret that number of teenage drivers is declining and more 20-somethings aren’t sold on owning a car.


Ford Motor’s Sync was the first dashboard technology to connect a cellphone. Voice-activated applications include Internet radio.

General Motors Co. this spring will release an 8-inch, touch-screen display for online applications, navigation and music that can be activated through voice, touch or steering wheel controls.Ford Motor Co. already allows drivers to receive Twitter feeds and stream online music through its Sync technology. New Mercedes-Benz cars this spring will tap into Facebook and perform Google searches. Mercedes drivers won’t be able to enter text while the car is in drive, but prewritten phrases can be selected with a click.

Customers say they love the electronics. “I like the way it looks,” said Jamie Kaye Walters, 38, a television production company executive who recently bought a 2012 Ford with the Sync system. “It’s a little bit distracting, but it kind of allows me to do work while I am driving without having to look down at my phone. I can do the whole thing with voice activation.”

Auto makers say the hands-free features of these systems are safe—or at least safer than allowing drivers to thumb through their phone contact lists to initiate a call or text a friend. They have argued to regulators that greater safety can be achieved with steering-wheel and voice controls.

“It isn’t possible to stop it,” said Michael Sprague, marketing director at Kia Motors Corp.’s North American division. “Consumers are going to continue to drive with phones and all we can do as a manufacturer is to provide what the consumers are asking for and make it as safe as possible.”

Rob Reynolds, executive director of FocusDriven, a distracted driving prevention group, said greater safety doesn’t equal safe. “The attitude that auto makers are taking is that we want to make distracted driving safer than ever,” said Mr. Reynolds, whose 16-year-old daughter was killed in an accident by a distracted driver. “They are putting a big filter on your cigarette so it will take longer to kill you.”


Coming Soon to a Dashboard Near You

Ford: Stream Internet music, access news and podcasts, send a Tweet

Toyota: Buy movie tickets, book a table, check stocks, search on Bing

General Motors: Play videos and slide shows, access songs via voice command

Tesla Motors: Wireless Internet with 17-inch screen, USB plugs

Mercedes-Benz: Check Facebook, read Twitter posts, use Google Local Search and Yelp

Auto makers point to studies, including one by researchers at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which show that talking on a cellphone increases the risk of a crash or near-crash by 1.3 times over regular driving, while physically dialing a number increased the risk 2.8 times. A person is more than 20 times more likely to be in a crash or near crash while sending text messages.

Such data, which was gathered by monitoring hundreds of hours of drivers with cameras in day-to-day driving, has guided auto makers and the administration to the conclusion that “hands-free” activities are safe. Other studies, including one by University of Utah researcher Michael Strayer, show that talking on the phone, hands free or not, is equally dangerous. Most of newer car-electronics systems permit access to controls through a touch screen.

Still, lobbyists for several auto makers said they sense a change in tone from the administration and no longer expect limits on the technology. Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood recently decided against holding a third-annual Distracted Driving Summit this year and signaled he won’t challenge auto makers that are integrating cellphones into their dashboard marvels.

Hands-free calling “isn’t the big problem in America,” Mr. LaHood said, after a December proposal by the National Transportation Safety Board called for a complete ban on cellphone use while driving. Another group, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, is studying cognitive distraction caused by the new technologies with a report expected late this year. “When the results are out, we will know more about whether these technologies are a distraction,” Mr. LaHood said.

NHTSA’s study will assess hands-free, semi-hands free and hand-held mobile phone use and assess the risk and distraction associated with each, the administration said.

The Transportation department also is nearing the completion of a set of electronics guidelines for auto makers that will dictate certain safety protocols. These are expected to be out in a few weeks. Lobbyists for several auto makers said the new guidelines, which aren’t enforceable, will largely follow what auto makers are already doing.

Among the coming in-car devices is a 17-inch touch screen display with Internet access and four USB ports to attach devices in the Tesla Model S electric car. Ricardo Reyes, a spokesman for the company, said the company wants to make sure that electronics in the car are cutting edge, like the vehicle itself.

“It is absolutely a selling point,” Mr. Reyes said. “People are already distracted by their phones in their car, but we can make it safer for them to do what they are already doing.”

Write to Mike Ramsey at michael.ramsey@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications
Ford Motor’s Sync in-car information and entertainment system can receive Twitter messages, but not send them. An earlier version of this article said it can both send and receive tweets.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203824904577213041944082370.html?mod=WSJ_auto_LeadStoryCollection

Automakers gearing up for a Super Bowl spending spree

By Dan Carney

There was angst in some quarters last weekend when the New York Giants defeated the Green Bay Packers, ensuring that the reigning Super Bowl champions won’t be returning this year.

I don’t know what show Packers fans saw last year, but what most of us clearly remember is Volkswagen dealing its competitors a stunning blow with their “The Force” commercial featuring a pint-sized Darth Vader. And VW will most assuredly return to this year’s extravaganza.

Super Bowl commercials cost advertisers $3.5 million for 30 seconds of air time this year, according to industry trade publication AdWeek, and some of the epic car commercials will run 60 seconds. The contenders take the field against one another in pursuit of the glory that comes with victory before an expected viewing audience of 110 million.

VW heads a roster of car companies advertising during the big game, including Chrysler, whose incredible “Imported From Detroit” commercial with Eminem would have otherwise been the big winner, and Audi, whose“Green Police” spot was among the top 2010 spots from the game.

The champs from VW are confident in their new 60-second spot.

“Last year’s Super Bowl campaign was an overwhelming success for the brand,” noted Brian Thomas, VW’s General Manager of Brand Marketing. “We see this year’s Super Bowl as a great way to continue this success.”

Among the automakers hoping for a breakout performance this year are Chevrolet (and probably also Cadillac from GM), Honda, Acura, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus and Toyota. Any one of these companies would hope for a “The Force”-like victory.

GM is pulling out the stops to ensure it has this year’s talked-about commercial. The automaker has put together five spots this year, and it hasn’t even decided which five it will run, according to spokesman Pat Morrissey. Here’s hoping the company will steer clear of the sappy commercials it has tended to run in the past with its “Chevy Runs Deep” tagline.

Four of the commercials were created by GM’s ad agency, but the fifth will be crowdsourced from among more than 200 entries by amateur filmmakers. We can preview those spots at this website.

Volkswagen unleashed “The Force” online days before the game last year, so keep an eye out for a preview of that company’s spot.

Chevrolet introduced its Cruz compact car to the public with last year’s commercial — a model that contributed to Chevy reclaiming its spot as the top-selling car brand in the U.S. last year, said Morrissey.

Audi has advertised in the Super Bowl for five years, and over that time the company has achieved record sales, record brand strength and higher transaction prices, according to Scott Keogh, Audi’s chief marketing officer. Audi returns this year with a 60-second spot that highlights the LED headlights on the upcoming S7 model.

“The Super Bowl is unique in modern American advertising,” observed Steve Shannon, vice president of marketing for Hyundai. “It provides a huge audience and one that actually likes to watch the ads,” he said. “What could be better?”

Hyundai’s sister brand Kia will use supermodel Adriana Lima, rock legends Motley Crue and former UFC champion Chuck Liddell in their spot this year, said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing and communications for Kia.

“After last year’s game, online search activity for the Optima increased 700 percent while online consideration increased 255 percent, so we know it’s the marketing event of the year in terms of reaching a mass audience and capturing their attention,” Spraugue said.

It is that ongoing interaction with potential buyers that sets Super Bowl advertising apart from other commercials, explained Keogh.

“With Audi in the Super Bowl you get these secondary and tertiary benefits,” he said. “Afterward, we got two billion (web) impressions. Now with social media like Facebook and YouTube, you get a massive multiplier there. If we run this very same ad on CNBC in March, you will never get all that.”

Read more: http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/18/10182907-automakers-gearing-up-for-a-super-bowl-spending-spree