Words by Niky Tamayo | Photos by Christopher Kho
Twenty years ago, Kia was an unknown quantity in the Philippines. Under the helm of Columbian Autocar Corporation (CAC), Kia Philippines started out by building and selling the Kia Pride, a dinky little contraption borne of an engineering partnership between Ford, Mazda, and Kia. This tiny little terror built Kia’s reputation as a competitive maker of cheap cars.
Sometime later, Kia merged with Hyundai. They started making “not-so-cheap” cars. And then they shanghaied Peter Schreyer to head their design department and they transformed, seemingly overnight, from a spunky wallflower into a stylish, sporty alternative to the mainstream.
Kia Philippines now offers everything from stylish super-minis to rip-roaring diesel SUVs. Where do you go from there? Start selling a halo car, of course. And at the 4th Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS), the Kia's all-new Optima’s HID and LED Halo shined pretty brightly.