After reading one of Automatch's great posts today, it got me thinking about Kia and I'd like to share these thoughts.
"They used to make crap but they haven't made crap in a while"
This is a rational retort for people who realize that badge is not everything and Kia is miles ahead of where they once were. Anyone with eyeballs can see they are better than they were 10 years ago and if not you're just being ignorant, this is coming from someone who isn't big on Kia at all.
But then I ask myself what exactly is a while?
A quick trip to Wikipedia shows me they [Kia] entered the industry in the mid to late 80's. I'd say they made less than stellar cars [read: crap] for at least 20 years. I looked at when their new designs hit the market which was around 2008-2009 (specifically the Optima) but 6 years of decent/slightly above average cars can't outweigh 20+ years of crap.
In my opinion Kia needs time to turn everything around, and they can't make it go faster and they surely can't rewind it. It will take years (at least 5-7) of building good cars, the continual push for reliability/build quality, and positive word of mouth to really turn Kia's reputation around, then they have to keep it up.
Don't get me wrong, I want Kia to succeed! I want them to apply pressure to the major players and say we can offer what you have for less! Why? Because it makes the brands that I have an affinity for try harder, price more competitively, and include more features standard. Ah the beauty of competition. This is why I'm glad that Jaguar is making such a ferocious comeback because it keeps all the others on their toes.