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Global praise for quality and design of Korean automobile

The status of the Korean automobile industry has been improving thanks to the myriad awards and excellent ratings they have received from world-renowned competitions and tests. Korean automobiles have received top evaluations on several safety tests and dominated a number of automobile-related awards.

Recently, the Kia Pride launched under the name Kia Rio in Europe, where it has been awarded the maximum five-star safety rating from the European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). As a result of the test, it received 33 out of 36 points for adult occupants, 41 out of 49 points for child occupants, and 6 out of 7 points for safety assist. Thanks to the Rio’s excellent ratings, all six models from Kia Motors are sold in Europe including Cee'd, Soul, Sorento R, Sportage R, and Venga which are now recognized as safety vehicles confirmed by the Euro NCAP.

The Kia Rio has been awarded the maximum five-star safety rating from the European NCAP (Photo: Yonhap News).

Hyundai Motor’s Avante launched as the Elantra in the U.S., where it has received the Residual Value Award for two consecutive years from the Automotive Lease Guide (ALG), the largest American company for rating the resale value of used vehicles. Residual value is one of the constituents of a leasing calculus. The ALG calulates the residual value of used vehicles by rating features including expected performance quality, merchantable quality, and brand awareness. The company announces the awards for each vehicle class annually, and Elantra received the award as soon as it was launched last year.

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech (HMMC) also received the National Award for Quality from the Czech Republic this year. At the awards ceremony for the National Quality Award 2011 held on November 10 at Prague Castle, HMMC won an award in the Excellence category. Last year, the plant also won in the Start Plus category of the National Award for Quality.

Hyundai Motor Company introduced the Azera at the LA Auto Show on November 16 (Photo: Yonhap News).

Previously, the Kia Morning, launched abroad as the Kia Picanto, received an iF product design award. The iF Design Awards are one of the world's three major design awards along with the Red Dot Awards and IDEA Awards. The Picanto won the iF Product Design Award 2012 in the transportation category. Kia Motors has won the award for four consecutive years so far, and it also has won the Red Dot Award four times for its models including the Soul, Venga, and K5 Sportage R.

The Korean tire company Hankook Tire also won an iF Product Design Award this year. Winning for the second time after its win in 2009, its model Ventus S1 evo2 brought the company the award.

Founded in 1954, the iF Design Awards are organized by the International Forum Design of Germany. The awards are given in various design categories including product, packaging, communications, and concept. At this year’s awards, 4,300 products from 48 countries were submitted.

Vehicles which will soon to be exported wait at the port near the plants of Hyundai Motor Company (Photo: Yonhap News).

According to data released by, an American vehicle survey company, Hyundai and Kia each received an A+ grade from the brand evaluation survey along with Jeep. evaluates vehicles sold in the U.S. every month based on eight categories including price changes, sales increase, customer loyalty, and market share. Hyundai Motor Company first entered into the top three in March this year and reached the top of the ranking from July to September.

Hyundai Motor Company previously won the 2011 Spotlight Awards, a worldwide promotional contest run by the League of American Communications Professionals (LACP), in early November. It won the Grand Prize in the category of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)/Sustainable Report with its 2011 Sustainability Report and the Silver Prize in the category of Book/Booklet with its development story booklet for the Azera. Around 1,500 booklets and promotional reports from 400 companies including GE, Intel, and BMW were submitted for this year’s awards.

By Jessica Seoyoung Choi Staff Writer

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