Kia cars to get start-up jingle

Buyers of Kia's Soul EV and future Sedona MPV in the US will be greeted by a jingle each time they start the engine, in what is considered an industry first.

The Korean manufacturer calls it 'sonic branding', and it hopes the short tune will come to signify the automaker, just as Intel's distinctive five-note jingle has for the semiconductor chip producer. Kia also believes the audio will strengthen customer interaction with the brand, and its use could be extended to other areas.

"For the first time in the automotive industry, the signature sound will be applied to convenience and safety functions of vehicles, such as welcome and goodbye sounds, in addition to various warning indicators," Kia noted in a statement.

The manufacturer is also attempting to share the melody as a mobile ringtone, allowing customers to demonstrate their loyalty to the brand when they're not at the wheel. Sonic branding is a new area of focus for Kia as it looks to build upon recent record sales success in the US and Europe.

"At Kia Motors we have been putting a tremendous effort into creating sonic branding with a unified signature sound that delivers Kia's distinctive brand identity to our customers," notes Ike Kwon, director of Kia's Global Brand Strategy Group.

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