Kia Motors and sister company Hyundai have reinforced the reputation for Korean car manufacturers adopting the highest design standards. Between them, they picked up three prizes at the 2016 Red Dot Awards for product design, one of the most prestigious international product design competitions.
The new Kia Sportage compact SUV and Optima saloon – the carmaker’s two latest models – both received coveted Red Dots. And Hyundai, with its groundbreaking new IONIQ model has been recognized for its outstanding design in the Coveted Vehicle category, becoming the sixth Hyundai car to receive a Red Dot title in the last three years.
The independent judging panel even honoured the Kia Optima with a Best of the Best award, the competition’s highest distinction, for which only the most ground-breaking designs in a category are eligible.
The new generations of the Optima and the European Kia bestseller, the Sportage, were launched across Kia’s global markets earlier this year. These new prizes have seen both models defending their Red Dot Awards – both the previous generations of the Kia Sportage and Kia Optima also received Red Dot awards in 2011, while the Optima retains its ‘Best of the Best’ prize. Since 2009, when the first-generation Kia Soul won the carmaker’s first award in the competition, Kia’s design teams have gone on to achieve a total of 15 Red Dot awards. Now, in 2016, every model in the current Kia product range has a Red Dot.
For Hyundai, the award acknowledges the future-orientated design of the newest addition to their car line-up. IONIQ is Hyundai Motor’s first dedicated eco-friendly model and is an important milestone in its sustainability strategy, with this latest award bringing further global recognition for its forward-looking design philosophy.
Peter Schreyer, president and chief designer of Kia Motors Corporation and Hyundai Motor Group, commented: “Our international design team has every cause to be exceptionally proud of these most recent awards. The first Red Dot awards for the Kia Sportage and the Optima were already great successes. It is a very special achievement to further develop a first-rate, prize-winning model so that the new design also convinces the expert jury of this globally respected and prestigious design competition."
Drawing on a jury of 38 experts from 25 countries – all high profile designers, professors and journalists – the Red Dot Design Award is recognized globally as one of the most sought-after marks for quality design. The 2016 contest attracted 5,214 entries from 57 countries, making the Red Dot Award the largest and most international product competition in the world.