The Soul, Kia's urban cross-over car, is the first auto from Korea to be hailed by Germany's Red Dot design competition.
It has been given an honourable mention in the automobile transport and caravan section, a reflection of the company's "determination to establish design as one of the key components of its corporate DNA".
Said chief design officer Peter Schreyer: "Kia's design strategy is focusing on distinctive product solutions and the development of a unique Kia family look."
Playing host to 3,230 entries from 49 countries in 17 different categories, Red Dot is regarded as the world's largest annual design competition.
Running since 1991, it is the brainchild of Professor Peter Zec and the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen museum in Essen, Germany.
The museum is housed in the former Zeche Zollverein colliery, which was redesigned by British architect Lord Norman Foster in the late 1990s and attracts more than 140,000 visitors a year.
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