DETROIT — A spokesman for Kia Motors indicates that the company is close to a decision to abandon the common practice of making the interior of low-priced cars intentionally drab, with typically dull gray color and unappealing materials. Just how far Kia may go to improve its interiors remains to be seen.

Seperately, WEVTU speaks with Bob Stander, vice president, Johnson Controls Inc., a major supplier of car interior seats and systems. Mr. Stander says JCI is positioned to make complete interiors — from seats to headliners — at equal or less cost than for a current vehicle interior — that could include leather-like vinyl seats which are next to impossible to distinguish from real leather.

Mr. Stander says JCI is expert at determining what consumers want when it comes to interior style, color and materials.

Considering the huge growth in U.S sales of Korean cars, attractive interiors could further enhance their market share and add to the potential for suppliers such as JCI to deliver a higher standard of interiors to auto assembly plants.