SAN FRANCISCO — July 22, 2010 — The all-new 2011 Kia Sportage took to the streets of San Francisco this week for its official unveiling at a national press event. This subcompact crossover utility vehicle (CUV) is the next vehicle in Kia Motors’ growth strategy and extends company momentum generated this year from the Soul, Forte and Sorento.
The 2011 Sportage will be among the first Kia Motors’ models to offer UVO, powered by Microsoft, an innovative infotainment system built on the Windows Embedded Automotive software platform. Set to debut in dealerships this summer, this vehicle, along with the Sorento and upcoming Optima, mark the first stops on the journey for UVO.
The interior of the all-new 2011 Kia Sportage features UVO, powered by Microsoft.
“We look at UVO, powered by Microsoft, as a brand, and we believe it to be a game changer for us,” said Henry Bzeih, national manager, Connected Car, for Kia Motors. “Building more blocks — like telematics, enhanced features and any future products we’ll overlay on top of that — is just going to support UVO as a true game changer.”
With the success of other infotainment systems on the market, it is evident that there’s an appetite for this type of in-car technology, which Kia Motors is embracing and making its own through differentiated experiences. As the vehicles underwent design-led transformations, UVO fitted well into the brand and the direction the company is moving.
“UVO reinforces one of the major pillars of the Kia Motors brand — technology. There is a lot of emphasis on the styling and on the quality aspects of the vehicle, but there is a pillar that is going to really stand out because of UVO, and that is the technology and connectivity,” Bzeih said.
The industry is already recognizing the early work Kia Motors accomplished with UVO, and what it means for the company’s brand and technology leadership, presenting it with the Industry Newcomer award at the Telematics Update in Detroit earlier this year.
Highlighting the strong partnership, Walter Sullivan, senior product manager for Windows Embedded, who was also on hand for the event, said, “We’re really happy with what Kia Motors is doing. They’re taking the message that they can innovate on the Windows Embedded Automotive platform and moving it forward. Car-makers wanting to differentiate themselves with technology are looking for a software platform they can innovate on to distinguish themselves and their vehicles.”
Microsoft’s Walter Sullivan addresses the audience, highlighting UVO, powered by Microsoft
During one presentation, executives emphasized that the Kia Motors brand is one to keep a close eye on. Kia Motors looks to accelerate its vehicles into the future, and adding technology leadership is the cherry on top. The company is already looking ahead at the future of UVO and the journey it’s on, predicting many more landmarks along the way.
The Sportage is Kia Motors’ longest-running vehicle brand, having helped introduce the Kia Motors brand in the U.S. and define the CUV class.
Stay tuned to Windows Embedded News Center for more information on UVO, powered by Microsoft, as it continues on its journey. And be sure to check out a host of images on the Windows Embedded Flickr page.