IRVINE, Calif., April 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book (KBB.com) today announced Kia Motors America (KMA) is a 2014 Brand Image Award winner for the "Best Value Brand" – the first time Kia has won the coveted award by KBB.com, the leading provider of new and used car information. Kia received high marks for its impressive lineup of stylish and fuel-efficient vehicles, specifically Optima, Rio, Soul and Forte, and was praised for its affordability and value to new-car buying customers.
"To be named a 2014 Brand Image Award winner for 'Best Value Brand' by Kelley Blue Book showcases Kia's continued commitment to providing tremendous value to its customers," said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of sales and marketing, KMA. "Value will always be at the forefront of every vehicle we sell. From the Rio all the way to the recently introduced K900 rear-drive luxury sedan, Kia continues to redefine what value means by offering an entire line-up of stunningly designed vehicles that are packed with the features and amenities today's new-car shoppers demand."
Kia's "Best Value Brand" distinction is based on annual new-car buyer perception data collected by Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence's Brand Watch Study.
"Kia has come a long way in the eyes of the consumer," said Arthur Henry, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "Once known only for offering economy cars with good gas mileage, the brand has evolved through product growth and maturity into a high-value brand. This is a similar path fellow import brands Honda and Toyota took in the 1970s. In fact, Kia edges out Honda this year for the Best Value Brand title."
About Kelley Blue Book's Brand Image Awards
The Kelley Blue Book® Brand Image Awards recognize automakers' outstanding achievements in creating and maintaining brand attributes that capture the attention and enthusiasm of the new-vehicle buying public. Award categories are calculated among luxury, non-luxury and truck shoppers. The 2014 Brand Image Awards are based on consumer automotive perception data from Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence's Brand Watch study. Brand Watch is an online brand and model perception tracking study tapping into 12,000+ in-market new-vehicle shoppers annually on Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com. The highly comprehensive study offers insight into how shoppers perceive important factors driving their purchase decisions, and captures brand/model familiarity and loyalty among new-car shoppers.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA proudly serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA and surpassed the 500,000 annual sales mark for the second consecutive year in 2013 following the launch of seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles, including the rear-drive K900 flagship sedan, Cadenza premium sedan, Sorento CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Optima Hybrid, the Forte compact sedan, Forte5 and Forte Koup, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and the Sedona minivan, through a network of more than 765 dealers across the United States. Kia's U.S. manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, builds the Optima* and Sorento* and is responsible for the creation of more than 14,000 plant and supplier jobs.
Information about KMA and its full vehicle line-up is available at www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com. To receive custom email notifications for press releases the moment they are published, subscribe at www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.
* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX Trims and certain LX Trims only) and GDI Turbo are built in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.
 V6 expected Summer 2014. V6 and V8 initially only available in select markets with limited availability.
SOURCE Kia Motors America