News - Kia
Kia design matures
Grown up: The design direction of the new-generation Rio hatch has shifted to a more sedate look compared with the previous version.
Eye-catching design of previous-generation Kias to make way for sporty, mature look
9 March 2017
KIA is adopting a more mature design aesthetic for its next-generation of
models after establishing a fresh corporate identity and transforming the brand
under former design director and now Kia Motors president and chief design
officer Peter Schreyer.
Discussing the look of the recently launched third-generation Rio light hatch,
Kia Motors Europe chief designer Gregory Guillaume said the company had decided
to take a more “mature” approach to design after taking a bold step forward
with the 2010 Sportage and 2011 Optima.
“The consensus was, (with) this generation Rio, to take it in a slightly more
mature direction. It goes a little bit with our strategy at the moment, similar
with Picanto, to try to give as much as we can to the customer for the segment
he is in, to give him the feeling that he is getting a bigger car, a car from
the segment above,” Mr Guillaume told Australian journalists in Geneva this
“So that’s why we went for this kind of proportion, because Rio before had a
very cab-forward … very expressive design.
Left: Kia Motors Europe chief designer Gregory Guillaume
“This one is more self-confident, it knows it is a good-looking car, that it is
a good car, it doesn’t have to shout it. We played with more cabin at the back,
longer hood. We tried to deliver on quality.”
Mr Guillaume said the next-generation version of the European-market Cee’d
small car would feature a new design that also gives the car a more mature look
“There will be a big change with next Cee’d. Each car in each time in the
line-up is playing a certain role where you are trying to develop the brand.
Different roles need to play at different times in the strategy,” he said.
“It is the big picture you have to have in mind. The next Cee’d is finished and
I am very happy. I would say as well it is very sporty but in a more
self-confident, mature way.”
When asked if Kia could maintain the momentum of its sister brand Hyundai in
terms of design, Mr Guillaume said Kia would not follow its path by introducing
sporty or premium sub-brands.
“We never really think about Hyundai, to be honest. There is enough competition
out there to be competing with the sister brand,” he said.
“I usually discover what they are doing the same time as you. I don’t get a
sneak peek. I know the overall strategy and what they should be doing; I know
what I am supposed to be doing.
“I know that we have no goals for a sporty sub-brand, we have also no goals to
do a premium sub-brand. We believe that Kia as a brand is elastic or flexible
enough to be able to deliver a car like the Picanto, like the Stinger, like
Sorento and it is actually more beneficial for the brand itself.”