The “KIA” in any other image would probably be less confusing.
In January 2021, automaker Kia redesigned its once-recognizable circular “KIA” logo, which it had had in some format since 1994, into a more stylized representation of the company name.
But the change completely confused potential customers, according to The Drive. And it’s not a small number of people either.
Some 30,000 people have searched for “KN car” on Google each month since the logo’s debut, according to the outlet, noting that the surge began when the Kia Stinger hit the market with the new logo.
“I just want to point out how many people 30,000 really are. That’s 360,000 people every year, 986 people a day, 41 people an hour, or one person every two minutes“, added the outlet.
The new logo was also panned upon release by some industry outlets. But other experts disagree.
Ed Kim, president and chief analyst of research and advisory firm AutoPacific, said Entrepreneur Kia’s confusing logo search traffic could work in their favor.
“Whether [the new logo] is noticeable enough for people to google “what’s that logo?” I would argue that the logo actually does its job,” he said. Entrepreneur.
First Twitter user, Ashwinn Krishnaswamy Point Googling the trend.
Kia was founded in 1944 and is part of the South Korea-based Hyundai Motor Group. After investing more in cars, the company mounted a remarkable rebrand from an entry-level car in the 2000s to now top-of-the-line vehicle quality studies, Popular Mechanic noted.
The number of Kia and Hyundai vehicles sold in the United States has increased by about 61% since 2010, CNBC noted, and the company sold more than 1.4 million cars in the United States in 2021, according to data from the l industry from Cox Automotive, the outlet added.
The company introduced the new logo in January 2021, saying it “[declared] the future transformation of the brand.”
“The rhythmic, unbroken line of the logo conveys Kia’s commitment to providing moments of inspiration, while its symmetry demonstrates confidence,” the press release added.
The old Kia logo, courtesy company
But it seems that the new logo is not resonating with all customers. As The Drive notes, there are several Reddit threads about the issue.
In the Reddit “R/what is this car” forum (which is for any “unknown vehicle you’d like to identify”), someone posted a Kia with the new logo, and someone wrote: “It’s their new logo.”
“Thank you! I don’t think I’m a fan of it,” the original poster replied. Some users said they liked it.
Two top-voted comments in another Reddit thread add, “I hate it. Every time I see it, I see KN, not Kia,” and, in response, “Same. Had to look for car logo google KN to figure out what it was. I thought it was something new.” Others in Krishnaswamy’s Twitter mentions disagreed.
I have to disagree. It’s a beautiful logo. No one thinks there is a car called KN.
— king alistair (@ALsparkles) November 20, 2022
I saw this on a car the other day and it was completely unreadable. pic.twitter.com/Il0i4GUHIZ
—Steve Dennis (@subcide) November 19, 2022
Kim, for his part, added that he thought the logo change made sense in the context of Kia’s shift to a reliable car and gained more “pricing power”, especially with the release of the model from highly rated Telluride car in 2019 for the 2020. market. The 2023 Telluride starts at $35,690.
“I think the logo goes hand-in-hand with where the Kia brand is and where it’s going,” Kim said. “Cars have become much more attractive and even much more upscale,” he added.
The company did not respond to a request for comment.