Monday, 15 August 2011

Kia Picanto

Something's wrong.

I've been banging on about it for a while, but it appears that I'm increasingly right, and I'm increasingly being joined by others.

You see, the traditional European car makers are under threat from a much smaller nation, Korea. Korean cars have come a hell of a long way since, well, Daewoo, Ssangyong and Samsung bit the dust. Hyundai and Kia merged, and proceeded in automating their factories, and abandoned the identi-kit cloning process that produced terribly monotonous cars in favour of true flair and ingenuity.

And Kia have once again produced a top-notch car that's slightly cheaper than a European marque, but every bit as high quality. OK, I made that last bit up, but I'm guessing.

People no longer ridicule Hyundai drivers like they used to. It's not a laughing stock any more, in fact people voluntarily choose Hyundais and Kias over luxury cars, I know because I nearly did!

So now that the hideous Picanto has been replaced by something that puts the competition to shame, can we expect to see other manufacturers following suit? Might Korean cars become the leaders? No, unfortunately not. You see, the true innovation is coming out of the German makers. The R&D and tech that goes into a new car comes from research labs in Munich, not Ulsan, but it doesn't take long in today's world to copy the tech.

So they're good, but just slightly behind the leaders.