Bale Kia in Little Rock, Arkansas is please to announce that f ollowing a year in which Kia Motors America (KMA) received more vehicle awards and accolades than ever before, the brand's stylish Optima mid-size sedan kicked the New Year off in high gear by being named "2012 Sedan of the Year" by Autobytel. Recognized by the automotive research website's editors as "setting the bar" in the sedan category, the Optima took top honors against tough competition with its head-turning design, roomy interior and outstanding fuel economy.
"Since its introduction, the Kia Optima has been attracting new customers to the brand with the right balance of performance, modern amenities and fuel economy that consumers are looking for," said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing and communications, KMA. "The mid-size sedan segment is more competitive than ever, and Autobytel's recognition of the Optima continues to keep Kia's momentum going into 2012."
Autobytel is an automotive research website providing consumers with the information they need to purchase new and used cars. Over their 75 years of combined experience, Autobytel editors have driven hundreds of vehicles and have chosen the 2012 Sedan of the Year based on Kia Optima's game-changing market potential, advances in design and overall performance and efficiency options.
About the 2012 Kia Optima
The 2012 Kia Optima stands apart from the crowd with its head-turning design, fun-to-drive performance, modern amenities and long list of standard safety features. Kia's second U.S.-built1 vehicle offers drivers cutting-edge technologies, including a standard eight-speaker Infinity®2 audio system, HD Radio™3 , and Kia's UVO powered by Microsoft®4 voice-activated infotainment and communications system with a starting MSRP of $19,5005 .
Kia's Unprecedented Growth
Kia Motors is the one of the world's fastest moving global automotive brands; from 2009-2011 Kia launched more new vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker, and under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer earned a reputation as an industry leader in automotive styling. Kia Motors America's full line of fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive cars and CUVs has earned critical acclaim and dramatically increased consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand. In 2011, KMA recorded its 17th consecutive year of market share growth, thanks in part to the largest increase of any major brand in perceived quality6 and the industry's highest brand loyalty ranking7 . Kia's U.S.-based manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia – KMMG – is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and builds the company's two best-selling vehicles in the U.S. – the Sorento CUV and Kia Optima midsize sedan8 . Kia's value and technology-laden 2012 model year lineup also includes the Sportage compact CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Kia Optima Hybrid, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, all-new Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and 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 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA." In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S. 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.