Kia has committed to its partnership with the Australian Open tennis Grand Slam for a further five years, to 2028.

    For more than 20 years the Korean carmaker has been the major sponsor of the Melbourne-based sporting event, commencing in 2002. Today, Kia’s Global Ambassador and defending Men’s Singles Champion, Rafael Nadal, announced the extension of the partnership this morning at the annual fleet handover ceremony.

    This year, Kia will be supplying 130 vehicles; comprising 10 EV6 GT-Line EVs, 70 Carnival MPVs, as well as 30 Sorento and 20 Sportage SUVs.

    Further, the brand will be showcasing the new EV6 GT high-performance electric vehicle in the event grounds this year, at a display dubbed the ‘Kia Wave’. The activation is said to give a nod to Kia’s new brand direction, which emulates “the natural element of water and the rise and fall of the ocean”.

    “Elevated on 9.5m platform, the build explores the impossible, with the EV6 GT positioned on an illuminated LED ramp to give the illusion that it’s flying. The ramp focuses on the natural beauty and force of the Australian landscape to align with the energy, design and performance of the hero vehicle,” Kia says in its media release.

    Chief operating officer for Kia Australia, Damien Meredith, reaffirmed the brand’s commitment to the major tennis event.

    “It’s been a pleasure to be involved in our own backyard with a world-class spectacle like the Australian Open for such a long period of time,” Mr Meredith said.

    “Both brands have grown and evolved over the course of the partnership and have shared synergies focusing on innovation, technology and sustainability. We’re very proud of our partnership and excited at the prospect of collectively reaching new heights over the next five years.”

    Meanwhile, Australian Open tournament director, Craig Tiley, praised the addition of more electric vehicles to this year’s AO fleet.

    “It’s wonderful to see this year’s fleet include ten all-electric vehicles, in keeping with Kia’s reputation as a contemporary, innovative and responsible company,” Mr Tiley said

    “Fans know the AO has come to town when the AO branded Kia cars emerge across the streets of Melbourne as they ferry players and officials to and from the precinct.”

    The 2023 Australian Open main draw commences on Monday January 16.

    MORE: Everything Kia

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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