• Aug 26th 2010 at 7:20PM
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Kia Forte EcoDynamics LPI Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

When Kia Motors unveiled its EcoDynamics sub-brand at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show, the company claimed its new badge would begin to appear on U.S.-bound models soon. In fact, Kia promised that its eco-friendly moniker would be attached to several models sold worldwide. Now, Orth Hedrick, director-product planning at Kia Motors America, tells Ward's Auto that the company has nixed plans to introduce the EcoDynamics name in the U.S. Hedrick cited cost issues as the primary reason for the company's reversal, stating:
The issue is it's yet another brand. And given the fact we're trying to allocate our resources to other areas that make the most sense, does it make sense to introduce another brand out there?
The U.S. automotive market, in its still-depressed state, simply cannot support additional brands. The Detroit Three have pared down by axing Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer and Mercury, so Kia's move to drop EcoDynamics fits the trend. Jim Hume of Phire Branding Co. says Kia's decision makes sense. Hume told Ward's:
My guess is that they realized the concept of EcoDynamics created not only another brand, but also created the need to educate consumers – an expensive proposition. In this particular case the delineation is tricky. Kia setting apart Earth-friendly vehicles via a sub-brand may have taken away from any Earth-friendly story in Kia-branded vehicles. It is better to highlight everything Kia is doing under one strong brand umbrella.
Though the EcoDynamics badge will not adorn Kia's U.S.-bound models, the fuel-saving innovations and other elements that were to be featured under the new sub-brand are already appearing on some Kia models headed to dealerships across the nation.

[Source: Ward's Auto]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      I always thought that kind of branding gamesmanship just crap anyway.

      It makes sense for something like 'mini' from bmw.
      They were not just introducing a branding idea - but basing it on a retro version of a classic car. OK. "Fair enough", I say.

      But stuff like scion from toyota in the states is just looniness.
      Do they really think kids will or won't but it because it is a toyota or not??
      Are kids, or any large group, really that stupid?

      Just build good cars and if they are a good vehicle in that category - and priced well, etc - then people WILL come and buy them.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Are Ford and KIA battling to see who can make the most garish fog lights?
      • 8 Months Ago
      axe the ecodynamic branding, just don't axe the hottie on the 4th pic
      • 8 Months Ago
      less branding, more actual green
      • 8 Months Ago
      Translation: Only a tiny niche of US car buyers care about 'eco'.
        • 8 Months Ago
        True, but that's partly because so far no car company has trashed polluting cars in its marketing. The closest is Mini's "small is beautiful", but that's not the same as "F*** anyone and everyone driving primitive cars that pollute at a standstill!" or "Every extra gallon you're burning funds terrorism, get a f***Ing clue and get a 40+mpg car!"

        Every company making a hybrid or EV could and I think should run such aggressive marketing, but as they all (bar Tesla) make a much bigger lineup of gasoline spewers, it's not likely to happen. Instead their hybrid ads make vague "green" assertions in kooky scenarios that preach to a narrow group of environmentally-positive consumers who aren't embarrassed by the inanity and awful music.

        The power of marketing can serve to maintain the status quo or change it.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Wow I'll take both models onto the backseat !!!!!!!!!
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