Kia have improved their reputation over recent years, as have many bottom end Asian cars. Remember the days when Toyota, Mazda and Nissan all produced cars which were commonly described with the unflattering and somewhat racist epithet: "Jap crap"? You don't remember? Well, I was there, believe me. My peers only bought big cars, usually Holdens or Fords, with big engines, and we derided Asian made buzz boxes for their low quality and poor performance. They were the antithesis of cool.
Hyundai was the next Asian manufacturer to enter the fray. South Korean "Jap crap". Look, when I was in primary school I thought Asia was a country. Anyway, Hyundai has now transitioned from lowly regarded buzz box to popular, high quality vehicles for everyone.
There are many others of course. In Australia, you can buy cars from all over the world, but I'm getting off track. I wanted to talk about Kia, another of the South Korean vehicles available Down Under.
Kia has a current ad on TV for the Rondo. It's a new model, but evidently all the consumer needs to know about it is that it comes in different bright colours. Of course, it is very typical for car ads nowadays to focus on looks and lifestyle rather than unnecessary mechanical specifications.
The ad features a Rondo going through a car wash, and then being accompanied outside the car wash by giant dancing mops. It makes me laugh. I know it is only designed to get me interested enough to do some research online or go to a dealer, but I wonder how successful this ad has been/will be.
Advertising is a funny beast, but it got me thinking about my choice of car. I picked my current car because of its appearance. I trusted the Ford brand, so really I only cared about the price and how good it looked. Taste in car styling is an individual thing, but I suspect very few people buy cars which are visually unappealing to them. Damn, we really are a superficial mob, aren't we?
Why did you choose your current car? Have you ever purchased a car just for its good looks?