Kia Takes To The Road With Borrego SUV

KIA BorregoIt's not the best time to buy an SUV, what with gas prices still in the stratosphere, but Kia Motors America is hoping its first body-on-frame SUV, Borrego, takes wing. The company launched Borrego with an ad push during the Olympics, pitching the vehicle as a luxury utility with up-market features at a mass market price.

Now the company is hitting the road with grassroots efforts to get potential customers behind the wheel of the new vehicle. The "BorregoExperience" includes both an exhibition in Los Angeles, Dallas and Phoenix, and a test-drive program in which the company will deliver a Borrego to selected homes in those markets, giving consumers full use of the vehicle for 48 hours. A company rep says Kia chose those markets because of their high concentration of Kia dealers and owners. The vehicle loans are going to early hand-raisers who have expressed interest.



The company will do market research on the test-drive customers via post-use surveys, and use the effort to expand reach to people who are unfamiliar with the Kia brand. <

The BorregoExperience also includes an exhibition that visits several national markets, wherein consumers can test-drive the vehicle and engage in "Luxury for Less" activities, including a "Cool Zone" to beat the heat; the Gourmet for Less cafe with cooking demonstrations; and personalized "Living Rich" postcards where visitors can have their photos taken against exotic backgrounds.

Also, Kia has launched a national sweepstakes that gives away five Borregos per month through the end of the year. Entry is at any of the tour stops or at

And as part of its sponsorship of the National Basketball Association, a deal signed last year, Kia touted the Borrego during the NBA Nation touring program--and awarded a new Borrego to the overall competition winner. And Kia will be the official NBA partner of the upcoming NBA pre-season outdoor exhibition between the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets taking place in Indian Wells, Calif., on Oct. 11.

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