Kia has made some serious design changes to its Optima midsize sedan, in hopes that it will become one of the labels two best-selling models. The current Optima moves only about 25,000 units per year in the U.S., holding a tiny fraction of the segment, comprised of 1.7 million units moved per year.
The Optima”s new body was designed in the company”s European design studio in Germany, and will come with a ton of new features like Bluetooth connectivity, panoramic sunroof, and more. Kia hopes to take the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry head-on with this new vehicle.
Kia will be putting much into the launch of the redesigned car, liking the Optima launch package to that of the Sorento. The Sorento launch package included among other things, a Super Bowl ad. Right now though, according to VP of marketing Michael Sprague, the first phase will consist of national movie theatre ads, lining up with the vehicles release in November. The second phase of the campaign will include a strong partnership with the NBA and a print and digital heavy placement strategy.
Right now the Optima represents about 8% of Kia”s total U.S. sales in 2010. The new vehicles is expected to hit showrooms in October.
Refresher: The base 2011 Kia Optima is powered by a 200 hp, 2.0L GDI turbo 4-cylinder. Buyers can opt for a 274-hp 2.0L GDI 4-cylinder turbo or wait for the 2.4L hybrid variant due out in early 2011. Sales begin fall 2010 with an estimated starting price of $18,995.
2011 Kia Optima:
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)