- Kia in 2007: new global production facilities, new Kia-exclusive design centers and major sports affiliations
(SEOUL) January 5, 2007 - Kia Motors Corporation will enhance its association with tennis and sport in 2007, as it enters its sixth consecutive year as the major sponsor of the Australian Open grand slam tennis tournament.
Kia Motors is committed to lasting partnerships with major sporting events as it continues to expand its operations throughout the world. It recently announced a multi-tiered basketball marketing program in the U.S. that includes the sponsorship of nine NBA teams and staring this year has also become an official automotive partner of FIFA, the governing body of the FIFA World Cup, until 2014. Along with the Australian Open, Kia Motors has signed the world’s number 2 ranked men’s professional tennis player, Rafael Nadal, as its global brand ambassador until 2008 and has been a long standing worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup, the largest annual international team competition in sport.
Commenting on Kia Motors’ commitment to sport and the Australian Open, Euisun Chung, President & CEO of Kia Motors Corporation, said, “The Australian Open is a perfect fit for Kia’s adventurous and young-at-heart brand and we are proud to lend our 6th year of support to what is truly a world class event. 2007 will undoubtedly be a landmark year for our brand as we continue to cement ourselves as a truly global automaker and continue to strengthen partnerships with world-class sporting events that reflect our young-at-heart and exciting brand values.”
Kia Motors’ ‘exciting and enabling’ brand is set to grow alongside the rapid expansion of its global operations in 2007 and beyond. Production started last December at its state-of-the-art European manufacturing plant in Slovakia and ongoing construction projects for its second manufacturing facility in China and first North American plant in the U.S state of Georgia are scheduled for completion in late 2007 and late 2009, respectively. This year will also see the opening of two Kia-exclusive design centers at the new headquarters of Kia Motors America and Kia Motors Europe. Combined with its growing overseas production capabilities, Kia Motors will be perfectly positioned to better reflect local consumer tastes and preferences from the very beginning of vehicle conception.
Running from the 15th to the 28th January, the Australian Open is the first Grand Slam of the 2007 tennis calendar and will see over 500 of the world’s top players competing for a total prize pool of AUD 20 million (USD 15.3 million). Kia Motors’ partnership has blossomed over the years and this year’s tournament will be enhanced by the fourth annual Kia Amateur Australian Open World Final as well as the new Kia Fan of the Day promotion.
Commenting on Kia Motors’ long standing association with the Australian Open, Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood said, “The support from Kia Motors - one of the world’s most exciting automakers - over the years has been a driving force behind the Australian Open’s evolution into one of the biggest sporting events on the planet and promotion of the wonderful world of tennis.”
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com or www.kia.com) -- one of the fastest growing automakers in the world -- was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world’s premier automotive brands. Kia’s 14 manufacturing and assembly operations in 9 countries produce more than 1.3 million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 160 countries. Kia today has over 32,500 employees and annual revenues of almost $16 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup. From 2007 to 2014, Kia will be an official automotive partner of FIFA -- the governing body of the FIFA World Cup. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan -- “The Power to Surprise” -- represents the company’s global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.