Kia posted an 11-percent gain in vehicle sales in the United States in November 2013, boosted by a 77-percent surge in sales of the 2013 Kia Soul. That boost could be the result of a last-minute one-day incentive program offered by Kia to its dealers. On Dec. 2, the last day of the November sales reporting period, Kia sent a memo to its dealers offering $1,800 in bonus dealer cash for each 2013 Kia Soul sold that day.
According to dealers, the incentive program would be the last one offered on the 2013 Soul, with subsequent sales no longer counted toward monthly stair-step incentive programs. What is more interesting is that the timing of the memo means that dealers had only a few hours to report the cars as sold to qualify for the $1,800 bonuses.
To avail of the program, some dealers told Automotive News that the short window given to them left them no choice but to report the 2013 Kia Souls as sold on Dec. 2, and then try to sell them to actual customers later.
To qualify for the bonuses, dealers just had to classify the sales under a special program code, "FNLPY," allowing them to report a sale to the factory and remove the vehicle from the inventory system without having to provide information about a retail customer, a general manager of a Kia dealership told Automotive News.
Dealers have been selling down the 2013 Soul since 2014 arrived model this fall. There is no figure telling how many 2013 models were reported sold on Dec. 2.
Kia Motors has been known to create production vehicles that have few differences from their respective concept versions. The same could be said with the 2014 Kia Soul. Its new design was essentially born from the Track'ster concept that was unveiled in 2012. This concept received quite a reception from Soul enthusiasts and experts alike, prompting Kia to make things a reality.
It planned to go from design freeze to production within just 18 months. The result is the new Kia Soul that features several of the dramatic design cues from the Track'ster concept. Tom Kearns, chief designer at Kia’s California studio, described the Track'ster to be comparable to a bulldog, adding that this design theme is clearly evident on the all-new Soul.
It is quite easy to recognize this new Kia creation as Soul, thanks to its upright stance, squared shoulders and fender flares. It now features a more aggressive appearance, thanks to its new dimensions. While it is as tall as the previous model (at 63.4 inches), the new Kia Soul is wider by 0.6 inches (to 70.9 inches) with a wheelbase that is longer by 0.8 inches (101.2 inches).
Its signature design cues include its wraparound greenhouse, tall ride height and high-mounted rear lights. In addition, the new Kia Soul is available with premium features like LED front positioning lights and rear LED "halo" lights, all allowing this new car to share a connection with other Kia vehicles like the 2014 Sorento and 2014 Forte.
Interestingly, a number of design cues from the Track'ster can be seen on the new Soul, like the large trapezoidal lower air intake as well as the location of the available fog lights. Although Kia's signature grille stays, it has been revised to look similar to that of the concept. Another element derived from the Track'ster is the distinct "floating" body color panel inset into the lift gate. Compared to the previous Soul, the new model has a wider lift gate opening (by 2.4 inches).
The new Kia Soul could be finished in any of the seven available exterior colors, including two that were seen in New York (Solar Yellow and Inferno Red).