PARIS – Cameras snapped every detail of the interior; tape measures gauged the minuscule gaps between console and dashboard; boxes on check sheets were ticked; every surface was touched, rubbed and all minutiae noted. The trio of designers thoroughly scrutinized the cockpit of the tiny Kia Cee’d concept hatchback, unveiled to the world only hours earlier at last fall’s Paris show. Fifteen years ago, even a decade back, these designers would have been Koreans intent on learning as much as ...

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