Kia Canada announces official vehicle sponsorship of the 2012 Fulda Challenge

  • Extreme challenge held in the Yukon and Alaska will task both competitors and vehicles
  • Kia Canada will supply 22 vehicles to be used as transportation and in individual events
  • Team Canada is represented by Canadian Rugby player Ryan Smith and Chantal Mackenzie

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Jan. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Kia Canada, in partnership with Kia Deutschland, is proud to announce that they are the official vehicle sponsor of the 2012 Fulda Challenge. Entering into its 12th year, the Fulda Challenge is an annual arctic extreme adventure where competitors from all over the world come together to test their strength, determination and endurance against the harsh arctic landscape.

Spanning six days, between January 12 to 17, 2012, the competition encompasses 10 events designed to challenge athletes in harsh weather conditions. Some of the events consist of 20KM cross-country skiing, helicopter drop, crossing a one-mile canyon on a rope and Ski-Joring behind a Kia Sportage.

Kia Canada will support the Fulda Challenge as the official vehicle sponsor in 2012, which showcases the dynamic, versatile ability of both the award winning Compact Utility Vehicles (CUV) - 2012 Kia Sorento and 2012 Sportage in demanding conditions.  As part of the partnership, Kia Canada will supply ten Sportage EX Luxury with all-wheel drive and twelve Sorento EX Luxury and SX models with all-wheel drive. The vehicles will be used in multiple events to transport athletes, press and supplies from various locations.

"Winters in the Yukon are grueling and Canadians need reliable vehicles that will perform to the highest of standards, even in the harshest of climates," said Robert Staffieri, Director of Marketing Kia Canada Inc. "The 2012 Fulda Challenge presents a unique opportunity to really showcase our vehicles abilities, specifically the Sportage and Sorento, and we're confident that they will not only meet and exceed the demands of this extreme decathlon, but also in everyday life."

The Kia Sorento Compact Utility Vehicle (CUV) is the first Kia vehicle in Canada to sell over 15,000 units in a year, with 15,105 total units sold in 2011. The demand for Sportage in 2011 contributed to 122.5% growth over 2010, with 7,766 units sold. Additionally, both vehicles have achieved 'Top Safety Pick' from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) making them one of the safest CUV's on Canadian roads. Earlier in 2011, the Kia Sportage was awarded 'Motoring Car of the Year' from Motoring TV and more recently the 2012 Compact Utility of the Year from Auto123.com.

The Sorento is well equipped for Canadian winters with an available full-time AWD system with lockable centre differential for improved performance on slippery and icy surfaces. The Sportage comes with an available Dynamax Intelligent all-wheel drive system (AWD) that can actually anticipate wheel slippage before it occurs and then engage, automatically, to help maintain better traction and control in all kinds of weather.

Selected to represent Team Canada is Ryan Smith and his spouse Chantal Mackenzie. Ryan has represented Canada in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 Rugby World cup. In the final game against New Zealand Ryan played his 51st match for Team Canada, an accolade held by few, and managed to score a try against France who is currently ranked 2nd in the world. Chantal Mackenzie loves to be outdoors and is no stranger to competitive sports. Previously, Chantal was a competitive equestrian for 10 years and long distance runner. When Chantal is not riding horses or running she spends her time downhill skiing, hiking and snowmobiling. Together the two of them represent a strong competitive team worthy of wearing the Maple Leaf on their jackets.

Follow Team Canada and the Fulda Challenge at www.facebook.com/kiacanada

Kia Canada will be collaborating with Bradford Productions to develop a one-hour documentary, chronicling Team Canada's training and experience throughout the challenge, which will air on TSN and TSN2 in early 2012.

Kia Canada Inc. (www.kia.ca) -- a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart -- is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) in Korea was founded in 1999 and sells and services high quality class leading vehicles like the Soul, Forte and Sorento through a network of 174 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 150 people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters and four regional offices across Canada. Kia Motors Corporation continues to showcase the company's global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.

SOURCE KIA Canada Inc.

For further information:

Kia Canada Inc. Media Contacts:
Jack Sulymka
National Marketing Manager
(O): 905.755.6266
(C): 905.301.6207
e-mail: jsulymka@kia.ca

Cathy Laroche
Public Relations Manager
(C): 514.554.0843
e-mail: claroche@kia.ca


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