I thought I’d reach into my vast vault of Kia-specific knowledge and hit you with this gem involving the Kia Borrego nameplate. Kia roughly translates to, “To come out of East Asia.” That is to say, in a romanticized way, “Rising out of Asia.”

Borrego means “lamb.” So the Kia Borrego is the Lamb Rising out of Asia. Mmph, symbolism! Now add in that the lamb was Killed in Action.

The lamb’s death (well in North America anyways) marked the genesis of the cultural shift in perception towards Kia. To put it another way...

The Kia Borrego’s name pretty much means Korean Jesus.

Now you have a great conversation piece when you happen to spot one of these in the wild.


On the subject of Kia’s name, if you de-romanticize the translation then you will realize it means “Made in Korea.” Knowing that bit of information let me say that no matter how often people say badge snobbing is wrong (it’s not), when it comes to Kia specifically it is 100% understandable for people NOT to want a Kia product purely because of the badge. It’s all perception and perception is everything in the world of branding.


It is also completely understandable why Kia cannot change their name or badge since it is a case of branding in nationalism which is made even more complex due to how the branding is set up to be the self-asserted flagship for presenting South Korea as an equal to other countries (think of how the Olympics function in terms of nationalism). But this is getting into the huge and fantastic subject of branding and nationalism so I’m going to cut it now.

Borrego be with you.