CARLSBAD, Calif., March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On the eve of the fourth annual Kia Classic Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tournament at Aviara Golf Club, located at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Kia Motors America (KMA) and Kia's official golf ambassador – two-time LPGA winner Michelle Wie – paired up today to donate a new 2014 Sorento CUV to Operation Hero, one of the keystone programs of the nearby Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA). Operation Hero provides free mentoring and tutoring to at-risk elementary-aged children of military families living at Camp Pendleton, which is home to more than 100,000 men and women of the armed forces and their families. The range-topping Sorento is intended to shuttle staff and students from Camp Pendleton to various YMCA activities nearby.
"As a Southern California-based company, Kia Motors is deeply committed to supporting the local community that we call home," said Tom Loveless, executive vice president, sales, KMA. "Operation Hope delivers much-needed services and assistance to the children of our military service men and women and it is our privilege to be joined by Michelle Wie to help make a difference in young people's lives."
"Our tutoring and mentoring after school program, Operation Hero, provides critical skills to at risk military children in elementary school," said George Brown, Executive Director, Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA. "The hardships they deal with in a military lifestyle can lead to low self-esteem and poor academic performance. Operation Hero fosters a positive environment, responsible behavior and encouragement to get back on track in school and home."
The top-of-the-line Sorento SXL* model, which will be introduced later in 2014 and is built at Kia's U.S. manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia, offers a new Gasoline Direct Injected (GDI) V6 engine, a unique self-leveling Xenon HID head lights, 19-inch chrome wheels, sporty red painted brake calipers and luxurious Nappa leather trimmed seats. In addition, the Sorento is Kia's first vehicle to offer the company's next-generation UVO eServices voice-activated telematics system.
The donation comes prior to Michelle Wie's participation in the fourth annual Kia Classic, which has again attracted a strong field of the top LPGA players from around the world. As part of the tournament's $1.7 million purse, the winner will take home a first-place check for $255,000 and a new 2014 Kia Cadenza*, the most powerful and technologically-advanced vehicle the brand has introduced in the U.S. to date.
Kia: One of the World's Fastest Moving Global Automotive Brands
Kia Motors America is one of only three auto brands to increase U.S. sales in each of the past four years, and in 2012 the company surpassed the 500,000 unit mark for the first time. With a full line of fun-to-drive cars and CUVs, Kia is advancing value to new levels of sophistication by combining European-influenced styling – under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer – with cutting-edge technologies, premium amenities, affordable pricing and the lowest cost of ownership in the industry. Kia recently joined the exclusive ranks of Interbrand's "Top 100 Best Global Brands," and is poised to continue its momentum with seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles scheduled to arrive in showrooms in 2013. Over the past decade Kia Motors has invested more than $1.4 billion in the U.S., including the company's first U.S. assembly plant in West Point, Georgia – Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia – which is responsible for the creation of more than 11,000 plant and supplier jobs. The success of the U.S.-built* Optima and Sorento in two of the industry's largest segments has fueled Kia's rapid growth and is complemented by Kia's comprehensive lineup which includes the Soul urban passenger vehicle, Sportage compact CUV, Optima Hybrid, the Forte sedan, 5-door and Koup compacts, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and the Sedona minivan.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA." In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.
Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its website – 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 http://www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.
About Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA
The Armed Services YMCA at Camp Pendleton has served the military community since 1943 with programs and services enhancing their lives with a focus towards the junior enlisted ranks by reducing deployment stress, improving their quality of life, strengthening families, and making military life easier for over 58,000 active duty and family members each year.
 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
*2014 Sorento SX Limited expected Spring 2013
 Warning: Driving while distracted can result in a loss of vehicle control that may lead to an accident, severe personal injury, and death. The driver's primary responsibility is in the safe and legal operation of a vehicle, and use of any handheld devices, other equipment, or vehicle systems which take the driver's eyes, attention and focus away from the safe operation of a vehicle or which are not permissible by law should never be used during operation of the vehicle.
*2014 Kia Cadenza expected May 2013. Initially only available in certain markets with limited availability
SOURCE Kia Motors America