DETROIT, Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Kia Motors America (KMA) is proud to announce that Road & Travel Magazine has named the 2013 Kia Optima as the International Car of the Year at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. Completely redesigned for the 2011 model year, the Optima's stunning design combined with modern amenities and impressive value propelled the mid-size sedan to becoming the top-selling Kia vehicle in 2012.
"We are thrilled that our best-selling Optima has earned the distinction of being named International Car of the Year by Road & Travel Magazine, further elevating its status in the midsize segment," said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing and communications, KMA. "The Optima continues to attract new customers to the Kia brand by offering an impressive combination of design, performance, comfort and technology. All of this while still maintaining Kia's unmatched value proposition."
Road & Travel Magazine gives 10 ICOTY awards to new or existing model year vehicles with significant and/or impressive improvements. These awards are based on the emotional connection between the consumer and vehicle. The winners are chosen by the ICOTY jury, which consists of nationally renowned automotive journalists from respected publications such as MSN Autos, Car and Driver and Consumer Guide@ Automotive.
"The Kia Optima rose to the top of the list as the most emotionally compelling vehicle above all others," said Courtney Caldwell, Road and Travel Magazine's Editor-in-Chief. "Its functional yet sleek design as well as advanced features intertwines effortlessly with consumer lifestyles on many levels, qualities we look for when considering contenders for the ICOTY awards."
In addition to this prestigious accolade, the Optima has earned a number of awards including being named the 2012 "Best New Car Value" award from Kiplinger's Personal Finance, "Sedan of the Year" by Autobytel.com, one of the "Top Drives for 2012" by the Boston Globe and a "Best Buy" by Consumers Digest.
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 record-breaking momentum with seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles arriving 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 growth and is complemented by Kia's comprehensive lineup which includes the Sportage compact CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Optima Hybrid, Forte compact sedan, 5-door compact hatchback and Forte Koup two-door coupe, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.