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  3. Kia honored with dual accolades at 2024 Newsweek World’s Greatest Auto Disruptors Awards

Kia honored with dual accolades at 2024 Newsweek World’s Greatest Auto Disruptors Awards

02 Apr 2024
  • How has EVP Karim Habib's leadership shaped Kia's design philosophy and propelled the success of the Opposites United approach?

Kia is celebrating victory in two key categories at this year’s Newsweek World’s Greatest Auto Disruptors Awards, with the all-electric EV9 winning ‘Research and Development Disruptor of the Year’ and its Head of Kia Global Design, Executive Vice President Karim Habib, named ‘Design Disruptor of the Year’.

These latest accolades follow on from previous Hyundai Motor Group successes, including 2022 wins in the ‘R&D Team of the Year’ and ‘Powertrain of the Year’ categories, as well as individual honors for Executive Chair Euisun Chung - named ‘Visionary of the Year’ in 2022 – and Chief Creative Officer Luc Donckerwolke – named ‘Designer of the Year’ in 2023.

Announced during an event at Newsweek HQ in New York, the World’s Greatest Auto Disruptors Awards recognize those driving fundamental, transformative change with measurable real-world results.

Pioneering Design Innovation at Kia

Pioneering Design Innovation at Kia

A central figure in Kia’s success since his arrival in 2019, EVP Karim Habib is the driving force behind the brand’s award-winning Opposites United design philosophy. Taking inspiration from the contrasts found in nature and humanity, Opposites United shapes the exterior, interior, color, and materials employed across all new Kia models, and is particularly evident in the striking styling of the all-electric EV9.

Speaking upon the announcement of his award, EVP Karim said: “It makes me extremely happy that Kia is seen as pushing the boundaries when it comes to design, and I believe that it is essential for designers to consistently take creative risks.

“It is important that design remains authentic and true to our brand values. At Kia, an innovative and forward-thinking mindset is an intrinsic quality, essential for providing relevant and meaningful products and experiences. We want our brand to provide environmentally responsible mobility for all; and we want our brand to be a symbol of innovation and progressive solutions.”

Winner of Kia’s second award of the evening, for ‘Research and Development Disruptor of the Year’, the Kia EV9 features multiple innovative R&D features including 800V architecture, Over The Air (OTA) update technology, and a drag coefficient of just 0.28 - despite its available 7.8 inches of ground clearance and seven-seat capacity. With an affordable entry price and an EPA-estimated 304-mile range on the Light Long Range RWD , the Kia EV9 brings next generation technology, luxury, and efficiency to more buyers than ever before.

Heuiwon Yang, President and Head of Kia R&D Division, said: “Kia R&D is driven by process, but not limited by it. At Kia, that means our engineers have the agency and trust to accelerate development, continue to pioneer new technology, and deliver improvements faster than the industry average.

“The EV9 was designed to reshape expectations in the segment, but affordability is a defining factor in the three-row mainstream segment—especially for growing families. We wanted the EV9 to offer the best of everything, without passing on those costs to the consumer.”

A key vehicle for the North American market, the EV9 recently followed in the footsteps of the EV6 in being crowned North American Utility Vehicle of the Year™. The success of the model has also prompted the expansion of Kia’s West Point assembly plant in Georgia, which is expected to allow the three-row all-electric vehicle to become the first Kia EV to commence US assembly later this year.

Receiving the award on behalf of Kia, President and CEO of Kia North America and Kia America Seungkyu (Sean) Yoon added: “The recognition of Newsweek’s editors is of particular significance to Kia, which strives to disrupt the status quo through innovative products which enrich the lives of their users.

“These dual awards demonstrate that the visionary leadership offered by our senior executives is having a real and meaningful impact on the vehicles which we create, delivering on Kia’s goal to become the leader in sustainable mobility solutions.”

Motor 283

BY Motor 283

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