Kia Motors has presented a fleet of 81 specially equipped courtesy vehicles to Tennis Australia to use in transporting players, officials and media during the 2008 Australian Open tennis tournament, recognised as Australia's premier sporting event.
The Kia fleet was officially presented to Mr Geoff Pollard, President of Tennis Australia by Mr SK Lee, President and CEO of Kia Motors Australia, in a ceremony at Melbourne Park, the venue for the Australian Open tournament.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Mr Lee said that the fleet of vehicles was an integral part of Kia's commitment to the Australian Open.
"Kia Motors is a proud supporter of world tennis, through its major sponsorship of the Australian Open and its continuing commitment as an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup competition," said Mr Lee.
"Tennis matches well with the 'enabling and exciting' brand attributes of Kia and the sport's appeal to people worldwide makes it a natural fit with Kia's growing position as a global automaker.
"These courtesy vehicles will play a very important role in transporting players, officials and the media between Melbourne Park, their hotels and the airport during the Open, contributing to the smooth running of the event and reinforcing Kia's role as the event's major sponsor."
The 81 courtesy vehicles include Kia's Grand Carnival people-mover, Sorento mid-size SUV and Magentis mid-size sedan.
The fleet will be driven by about 200 specially trained drivers who expect to clock up more than 300,000 kilometres in thousands of journeys during the two weeks of the 2008 Australian Open.
Mr Geoff Pollard, President of Tennis Australia, accepted the fleet from Mr Lee, saying: "I'm thrilled to be here today to accept this official handover from Mr SK Lee.
"The Kia courtesy car fleet is an intrinsic part of the Australian Open. The sight of the Kia fleet ferrying players and officials around Melbourne contributes to the tangible excitement and buzz the AO brings to the city of Melbourne."
The majority of the fleet will comprise Kia's award-winning Grand Carnival people-mover which has dominated the people-mover segment in Australia for a number of years.
The Carnival range's package of a spacious and functional interior combined with powerful and efficient V6 engines has made the model a natural choice for owners who need to move up to eight people and their luggage comfortably and safely.
It was recently recognised as Australia's most popular people-mover with its recent win in the People-Mover category of the 2007 Carsales Network People's Choice awards.
"Carnival has consistently been Australia's best selling people-mover," said Mr Lee. "When it comes to actually making a purchase, approximately 34% of buyers in the under-$55K people-mover market have chosen either the Kia VQ Carnival or Grand Carnival, demonstrating that Carnival really is the people's choice."
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.com) - one of the fastest growing automakers in the world - was founded in 1944 and is Korea's oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world's premier automotive brands. Kia's 12 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries produce more than 1.3 million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 165 countries. Kia today has over 33,000 employees and annual revenues of almost $19 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup. From 2007 to 2014, Kia will be an official automotive partner of FIFA - the governing body of the FIFA World Cup - as well as a EUROTOP partner of UEFA. Kia Motors Corporation's brand slogan - "The Power to Surprise" - represents the company's global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuousautomotive innovation.
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