Kia considering new naming scheme for U.S.

Potentially adding to the auto industry's alphabet soup, Kia is considering a change in its vehicle naming scheme for the United States.

Kia is in the midst of revamping its entire vehicle lineup, and the Korean automaker is considering a naming scheme change to go along with that product overhaul. Discussions on the matter are said to be taking place on the highest levels.

Hyundai vice chairman Chung Eui-sun revealed to Automotive News that Hyundai-Ki's top executives are considering changing Ki's vehicle naming process for the United States market. Kia currently uses names for its U.S. vehicles, but that could switch to alphanumerics in the coming years.

Although not lineup-wide, Kia currently uses an alphanumeric naming scheme in other global markets. The Kia Optima is known as the K5 in South Korea and other global markets, and the Forte is expected to become the K3. However, several Kia vehicles - such as the Soul and Sportage - retain their English nomenclature in the Korean market.

No timeframe for a decision has been revealed, but Kia execs believe the swap could strength the automaker's overall brand image. However, Kia officials acknowledge that most Americans prefer a car with an actual name, so the swap is no slam dunk.

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