Who would have thought that Kia, the once lowly rated Korean automobile brand could rule the automobile world in 2016. Who could have imagined Kia as the first non-premium brand to top the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, IQS, ranking in 27 years. And who could have imagined Kia Rio as the ‘Car of the Year’ in Nigeria in 2015. These were some of the questions agitating the minds of many auto freaks since last week when the brand was rank number one in the United States auto industry for initial quality by J.D. Power. To many, it was a surprise, but the fact remains that Kia in the last 20 years had worked hard for this. Though Vanguard Motoring got the report few hours after it was announced but a call from one of my senior colleagues in Vanguard who was holidaying in the United States, Mr. Onochie Anibeze knocked me off balances. He called to inform that the story was the lead in many newspapers in the United States. “It was a feat and every paper is celebrating it, he said that night. That was not the only honour for the brand within the week as its models were also recognised by Total Quality Impact (TQI) Study by Strategic Vision as well as AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. Having transformed into an industry leader in design, quality and technology, Kia Motors reached historic new heights recently when J.D. Power recognized the brand as the highest scoring nameplate in its 2016 Initial Quality Study (IQS) out of all 33 makes in the U.S. Marking the first time in 27 years that a non-premium brand has topped the rankings. Kia’s rise to the top was driven by segment-leading performances from the Sportage and Soul, while Rio, Forte and Sorento all ranked in the top three of their respective categories. “Ranking number one in the entire industry for initial quality is the result of Kia’s decade-long focus on craftsmanship and continuous improvement, and reflects the voice of our customers, which is the ultimate affirmation,” said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and EVP, Kia Motors America. “As the highest ranked brand in the industry, there is no doubt Kia is a world-class automaker,” he further stated. As Kia’s U.S. sales have consistently grown over the last four years to surpass the 600,000 annual unit mark, so too has the brand’s performance in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study. After entering the overall top 10 for the first time in 2013, Kia placed second in the industry and led all non-premium makes in IQS in 2015. Now in its 30th year, the annual J.D. Power IQS analyzes responses from vehicle owners in 26 segments. IQS is determined by vehicle owners evaluating the driving experience, engine and transmission performance, and a broad range of quality-related problems within the first 90 days of ownership. Reacting to Kia’s exploits, the Marketing Manager of Dana Motors, Mr. Jimoh Olawale explained that Kia’s ranking presently, was due to the brand’s continuous improvement. Kia Motors Nigeria commenced operations in 2002 as the sole distributor of Kia brand with a fraction of the market share. However, the continuous improvement of the brand’s aesthetic design and innovative strides over the years has made it a household name in the Nigerian market where it is currently ranked among the top 3 brands. Our accentuated after-sales service and expanded showrooms across the country has helped build confidence in our model range and positioned KIA as an automotive force of change in the industry. Bridging the gap between the expensive new cars and the affordable used imported vehicles in Nigeria, Kia Motors Nigeria was established to cater to all social class from the low income earners, middle class and the upper class. We provide state of the art automotive technology to Nigerians with an array of affordable vehicles that are low in maintenance cost and high in performance. From the Picanto to the Mohave and Quoris, Kia offers a full line up of sedans, SUVs and MPVs that are not only practical but downright exhilarating to drive. We offer some of the longest and most comprehensive warranty covers of any vehicle manufacturer in Nigeria and we are the first to offer a 5-year warranty on our vehicles. Our giant strides in the industry has reeled in reputable awards both locally and internationally. We have continued to keep pace with consumers’ evolving wants and needs in order to remain competitive and will further manufacture vehicles that meet their dreams and aspirations. Our underlining principle is to continuously satisfy our customers’ aspirations and shifting interests to meet their expectations with exceptional service delivery,” he stated.