Kia is looking to add a little extra panache to its image by dropping the current list of model names in favor of alphanumeric designations. According Chung Eui-sun, to Vice Chairman to Hyundai Motor Co., which owns Kia, the Korean automaker is looking to make the switch in North America. Currently, Kia uses short alphanumeric badges for many of its models in its home-market of South Korean and in other markets throughout the world. For instance, the new Optima sedan, unveiled at the New York Auto Show, is badged as the K5 in Korea. This switch might also result in the Forte changing its name to the K3.
Numerous other models would, however, retain their traditional names, including the Forte Koup, Soul and Sportage. Those models share the same names in Korea.
The decision isn’t final, however, and Kia is worried that an expanded product portfolio, combined with alphanumeric designations, could make for confused consumers. We have to agree.