I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been driving around and have uttered the words, “Man that’s a pretty car. I might want one if it had a different logo on the grille.”
Isn’t branding a funny thing?
Throw a BMW logo on a Hyundai and suddenly the practical $30,000 Korean sedan looks like a $50,000 German luxury car. So much of the value we put on a car comes from the perception of the logo adorning its front and back ends.
I’ve long wondered why, once Kia came out with its modern and sexy car designs, it kept the same logo from the 1990s that people associated with ultra-cheap basic transportation. Seeing a beautiful car with the clunky Kia logo can immediately take $10,000 away from its perceived value.
Kia may have finally gotten the message and will remove the logo from an upcoming performance sedan, at least in its home market. Will that translate to more buyers?
The car in question is the upcoming 2018 Kia Stinger, which will be sold around the world. While the U.S. version might still have the familiar—and slightly off-putting—Kia oval, other markets may not.
The Truth About Cars found a South Korean news source and said,
In Korea, however, no one will be able to blame the model’s success or failure on the presence of a “Kia” badge. That’s because it won’t have one.
According to South Korea’s Pulse, Kia’s lengthy new compact sedan won’t be sold in that country with a Kia badge. While its name is the same everywhere, the automaker has apparently designed a wholly new emblem to use on Stingers sold in its home market.
Can you guess what this reminds me of?
That’s right…the Corvette. Nowhere on the American supercar will you find the Chevy bowtie. Instead, the Corvette features its own crossed-flags logo, which is intentional because GM knows the Chevrolet brand doesn’t extend to supercars.
I can’t imagine why Kia would leave the logo on the car for U.S. buyers. If it’s not good enough for South Korean buyers, it shouldn’t pass muster for U.S. buyers.
The Stinger will come standard with a 255-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and 8-speed automatic, or with an optional twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 making 365- hp. Buyers can opt for either rear or all-wheel drive.
Here’s hoping for a badge-delete option as well.
Would you be more likely to buy a Stinger if it didn’t have a Kia logo?