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April 14, 2011

Forte named Debut Model of the Year at the 2011 Frost & Sullivan Malaysia Excellence Awards

Kuala Lumpur, April 14 – Naza Kia Malaysia's Forte has been awarded Debut Model of the Year at the 2011 Frost & Sullivan Malaysia Excellence Awards.

The award is presented to models launched between November 2009 to November 2010 that made a significant impact in the market with a substantial sales volume and positive market acceptance.

"Since its launch in November 2009, the Forte has made waves in the market and has sparked a new interest and desirability for the Kia brand. Today's award is the sixth accolade the Forte has won in Malaysia since its launch.

"We recently introduced the Forte 6-Speed which has made a great car even better and we believe this model will be poised for more honours this year," said SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin, Joint Group Executive Chairman of the Naza Group and CEO of Naza Kia Malaysia.

Since its launch in November 2009, Naza Kia Malaysia has sold a total of 6,878 units of the Forte as at the end of the first quarter this year.

Frost & Sullivan consultant for Asia Pacific Automotive and Transportation Practice, Ahmad Faridz Dzulkarnain, said the Forte broke the monotony in its segment by offering a very bold and dynamic European styling vehicle packed with high technological features and fitment level at a very attractive price point.

"The market acceptance of this model was phenomenal based on its sales volume of more than 5,200 units and capturing around 2.5% of the C-segment market share in 2010. The other newly launched C-segment sedans only sold less than 2,000 units in 2010.

"The competition in this segment is considered the toughest as the C-segment midsized sedan is the most popular segment and accounts for a major portion of Malaysia's annual sales volume," he said.

Among the criteria which the Forte was evaluated upon included sales volume for 2010, market share within its own segment for 2010, price points, key marketing strategy in 2010, key selling points of the nominated model, key competitive advantages and significant achievement for 2010.

New passenger vehicles that were launched between November 2009 and November 2010 are considered for the Debut Model of the Year award which includes passenger cars, MPVs, SUVs and sports cars.

Ahmad Faridz said one of the many unique selling points of the Forte was its exterior styling sculpted by chief designer, Peter Schreyer.

"Besides the dynamic styling, this model also offers a range of fuel economy features behind the 1.6L and 2.0L power plant variants. The aerodynamics of the exterior has resulted in one of the lowest drag value in its class; hence further promoting fuel efficiency," he said.

Ahmad Faridz added that another unique selling point of the Forte was the various luxury and safety features in the car such as a Start-Stop Button, Smart Key System, Rear Parking Assist System, six airbags for the 2.0SX variant, motor driven power steering and electronic chromic mirror for the price below the RM100,000 mark.

The new Forte 6-Speed, which was recently launched by Naza Kia Malaysia, features several new premium features that are set to further strengthen the award-winning sedan's position in the market.

The enhanced Forte is now mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic functionality as well as steering mounted paddle shifters. The on-the-road (OTR) price of the 1.6EX variant is at RM78,800 while the OTR prices for the 1.6SX and 2.0SX are at RM85,800 and 97,800 respectively.

"The Forte 6-Speed also features a host of other premium specifications such as a rear-view camera, LED-turn signals on the side mirrors which are now electrically foldable and Bluetooth functionality.

"These features are set to further increase the car's popularity in the market this year," said Datuk Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar, chief operating officer of Naza Kia Malaysia.

The new features such as the six-speed transmission, integrated LED turn signals on the side mirrors, new grille design will be available on the 1.6 EX and SX variants as well as the 2.0 SX. The steering-mounted paddle shifters, rear view camera, electronically foldable side mirrors and Bluetooth functionality will only be available in the 1.6 SX and 2.0 SX variants. The new Forte 6-Speed comes in Clear White, Bright Silver, Titanium Silver, Metal Bronze, Spicy Red and Ebony Black.

About Naza Kia Malaysia

Naza Kia Malaysia Sdn Bhd is the official distributor for Kia Motors products in Malaysia. The company, which is a unit of the Naza Group of Companies, offers a comprehensive line of vehicles and has 68 sales outlets and 82 service centres in the country. For more information on Naza Kia Malaysia, please visit www.nazakia.com.my

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages 50 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 40 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit http://www.frost.com.

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