Mike Stevens | Jun 30, 2010

Korean carmaker Kia is reportedly considering a new naming system for its models that would see a switch to an alphanumeric series, according to reports out of the brand's homeland this week.

Following in the footsteps of corporate partner Hyundai, a number of Kia's models in the Korean market have already made the switch: the Optima is now the K5, and the Cadenza is known as the K7. Similarly, the Cerato name is expected to become the K3 for future models.

While a change might be as good as a holiday for the ascendant Korean brand, the naming switch may take some time to get right through the model line-up. The Soul and Sorento are still relatively new models, and the upcoming Hyundai ix35-based Sportage is already being marketed under its existing name

The Korean reports may be jumping the gun of course. Speaking with US industry paper Automotive News, Hyundai Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun said that while a (naming) change is being considered, the company has yet to make a decision.

He added that while American buyers are believed to prefer cars with word-based names, it is hoped that a switch to the more European-like alphanumeric pattern will strengthen the brand's image.

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