NEW YORK – Teaming up with the largest comic-book publisher in the world for a 10-month promotion, Kia Motors America unveils its own Batmobile – an Optima decorated with Batman-inspired artistry.
Kia spokesman Scott McKee tells WardsAuto the Batman-themed vehicle launches the auto maker’s fourth pop-culture venture. Previously, Kia's sponsored National Basketball Assn. games and other sporting events, music performances and social-media technology.
The latest campaign incorporates iconic comic book characters that make up DC Entertainment's Justice League: Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg and Batman.
McKee says there will be eight Justice League vehicles. The Batman Optima is the first. Other characters will adorn additional models in the Kia product portfolio that will be unveiled at auto shows around the country.
An eighth vehicle will be decorated with all seven Justice League characters and debut at the New York International Auto Show next spring. Later, that vehicle will be auctioned with the proceeds going to battle hunger in the Horn of Africa. McKee declines to predict how much that vehicle might fetch at auction.
The Batman-inspired Optima is unveiled at a ceremony here at Time Warner Center, headquarters of the company that owns DC Entertainment.
The comic book heroes will adorn “We Can Be Heroes” license plates, signs and other items to raise awareness for the campaign. The cars will be unveiled at U.S. auto shows over the next 10 months, as well as New York Comic Con, San Diego Comic Con and the Specialty Equipment Market Assn. show in Las Vegas.
The Optima, which is built at Kia's U.S. plant in West Point, GA, is the brand's best selling model. Overall, Kia sales are up 18.4% through September, WardsAuto data shows.
“Using comic book characters is not so much a play for younger buyers,” McKee says, noting the median age of Kia buyers is about 49. “It speaks to people who might have read comic books 30, or even 40 years ago.”