Kia NAIAS Display: The One with the Creepy Old Man and the Hamster
The first part of Kia’s display visible to us was the luxury section. Kia is attempting to enter the luxury market within the next few years, and much to cynical Tim’s surprise, the luxury rebranding is actually going quite nicely. The Cadenza and the newly unveiled K900 both looked stately and sophisticated, the kind of models you’d perhaps expect to see in the Lincoln showroom. It didn’t hurt that the atmosphere of this section of the Kia display screamed (or politely whispered, I suppose) elegance and refinement.
Kia Cadenza Photos
Kia K900 Photos
I actually really liked how Kia’s display was set up. (You can tell by my live tweets.) The Cadenza and K900 were sectioned off in what was a clearly luxurious division, marked by fancy furniture and lighting. It honestly felt like I was in a corporate office’s waiting room to see a money-hungry CEO. Then just a few quick steps around the corner, and we were face-to-face with the GT4 Stinger, which sat atop a rotating platform, bathed in glorious white light. Just a stone’s throw from the Stinger display was the life of the Kia party, a pack of Kia Souls, including The Voice Soul and the DJ Booth Soul and, of course, the newly slimmed down hamster.
Kia GT4 Stinger Photos
As we were leaving the GT4 display, Marci complimented a photographer’s fedora, inside which a press pass was perched “like the old days,” he said. Then they began to discuss the cameras he was using to shoot in 3D. Knowing nothing about photography and itching to play an Optima Hybrid game (because I’m a 22-year-old child who just might still wear cartoon underwear from time-to-time), I snuck off from their professional conversation. I took some notes on the 5-Door Rio and even tried to climb inside, but wouldn’t you know it, Kia had locked me out of that one. (There goes your positive review, Kia.)
Instead, I meandered around the rest of the cars, spending a lot of time in the Soul section and wondering why Adam Levine was nowhere near The Voice Soul. I mean, would that have been too much to ask?
Specialty Kia Soul Photos
After about fifteen minutes of roaming, however, I approached the Stinger display to snatch my photographer back from the fedora-wearing, 3D-shooting, white-bearded man who by now had somehow cornered Marci into a one-sided conversation about the ethnicity of Santa Claus, the Holocaust, and the latest police abuse scandals he’d covered. I tried to pull Marci away, but the guy clearly had claimed his audience and wouldn’t let go. (He tried to sucker me in too.) After about six minutes of sheer rambling—at this point I wasn’t sure if he was speaking English or a Spanish-Klingon hybrid—he managed to somehow end his tirade, but not without one or two more added thoughts as he walked away, and also not without possibly insulting our intelligence, although we can’t be sure.
“I have absolutely no clue what any of what he said in the last twenty minutes meant,” Marci said. With that, we went and photographed more cars. And I finally got to play the Kia Optima Hybrid game, which entailed driving an Optima Hybrid efficiently while battling the elements, like tornado-force winds, which we are now battling as we drive home, incidentally. If you get a chance to go to NAIAS on a public day this year, I recommend trying it out (although there was a simulated motion driving game in Ford Country that I missed out on that was probably even cooler).
Beginning to grow hungry, we set our sights on the Volkswagen display.
Check out all the other pit stops on my tour through NAIAS:
- Timothy MooreManaging Editor
Timothy Moore hails from Dayton, Ohio, and tries to bring that Midwestern flavor to his writing. (But as it turns out, no one really likes the Midwestern flavor.) He has been covering the auto industry for years, with several national auto shows under his belt, but he’s been writing about lots of other things (like dragons and Mickey Mouse and cows drowning in milk) since he was just a tot. Outside of the land of cars, Timothy enjoys watching The Office and consuming excessive amounts of peanut butter and beer, and is on the board of an up-and-coming Dayton theatre company called The Playground. And when he’s not on stage (or three jars into a peanut butter binge), Timothy spends time with his mischievous dog, Greyson. See more articles by Timothy.