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Kia to Ditch Old Nameplates for Alphanumerics

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Back in the 1980s and 1990s, model names of vehicles in the United States followed an alphanumeric system; a time when German automakers–particularly BMW and Mercedes–dominated the market and set the trend for its unique car nomenclature.

It was seen as a logical system where a 528i model was part of the 5 Series while a Mercedes S500 was named part of the S-Class.

These days, however, companies are coming up with actual names for their respective models. Save for sister brands Kia and Hyundai, that is.

The K5 is also the highly anticipated Kia Optima.

In a report recently published by Motor Authority, the Korean automakers continue to file paperwork for new alphanumeric model names such as K4, K5, K6, K7, and K9.

The K5, in an announcement made by Kia, is expected to be a GT version featuring a higher-performance drivetrain aimed at buyers in the United States. Noticeably, though, the company never mentioned that the K5 is also the highly anticipated Kia Optima.

“Such a name change for the US still being considered by Global Branding Committee,” said a Kia representative in a statement. “As you can imagine, Optima has strong and positive equity as [a] transformative car for Kia in [the] US.”

But if things are going to be based on track record, there is still a possibility for Kia to retain its model naming system in the United States as the company is also known for giving its US-bound models a different moniker than what is used in Korea. A good example of this is the K9, which is known as the K900 in America.

Until Kia actually releases a model with an alphanumeric name in the U.S. market, there is no confirming the reports.

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