• Apr 1st 2011 at 1:29PM
  • 9
Kia Naimo EV concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Korean-made cars of the 1990s and early 2000s looked very... Korean. Not exactly a bad thing, mind you, but it's tough to sell vehicles around the globe that cater to a specific region of the world. That's likely one of the reasons why Kia hired former Audi designer Peter Schreyer to inject some much needed style into its lineup.

Schreyer tells Automotive News that there is no "Koreaness" about the Kia lineup, adding "to be honest, we don't want the cars to look Korean." A quick look at the 2011 Optima and you can see Schreyer is succeeding, but what about the Naimo EV concept? AN tells us that the jade color is reminiscent of Celadon-style pottery. The interior is covered in Korean oak. Schreyer tells AN that, at least in this case, the Korean factor is strong, adding it has design cues inspired by art specific to that country.

While the Naimo concept is a definite change of pace versus the rest of the Kia lineup, we're thinking the little concept doesn't mean to reveal a new styling direction. The show car was, after all, designed with the Seoul Motor Show in mind. Besides, there's nothing wrong with playing to the home crowd.

Kia Naimo Concept
  • Kia Naimo Concept

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Schreyer has not "caved," and to say he injected "much needed styling" into this design is just ignorant. His designs have all the styling and grace they need and then some. It's as ignorant as Michelle Bachmann saying the Revolutionary War's "Concord and Lexington" were in New Hampshire.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yes, I've lost a little respect for Schreyer since finding out that that he caved and allowed this concept to be painted with a color reminiscent of a type of pottery that is apparently popular in Korea. Wait, what are we talking about again?
      • 4 Years Ago
      This blog is not about whether one likes or dislikes this particular design – it's about looking "Korean" – and my take is that AutoBlog is cla-zy. This design has no inherent "Korean" elements (whatever those are supposed to be). It could have come from Renault, Citroën, or any cutting-edge (non-gentrified, like-it-or-not) design studio from Japan to Europe to wherever.
      • 4 Years Ago
      i can dig it. to me it speaks future more than it does korea
      • 4 Years Ago
      2 words: citroen cactus !
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think they missed "cute" and landed square in "what in gods name is that hideous bug-eyed ugly-assed mutant?!"

      Buuuut that's just my opinion.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Besides, there's nothing wrong with playing to the home crowd."

      Quite. I appreciate Kia's new styling by Peter Schreyer (and Mike Torpey), but I have felt for over a couple of decades now that Korea and Japan should consider being less bashful about being Korean and Japanese, not just in their styling and equipment choices but in their advertising. (Perhaps especially in their advertising.)

      Some of us, or many of us, appreciate them on their own merits, not because of how well they approximate German cars (which are splendid). Are you listening, Barbara Mikulski?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Stop calling him an ex-Audi designer, I thinks he has done much more for Kia than Audi by now
      • 4 Years Ago
      That thing looks like it has just been goosed. The grand poobahs should let their designer design and take the idiots out of the equation.