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Kia Sorento Arrives In Korea At Halfway Mark In Around The World Adventure

11th October, 2005

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Christer Gerlach has arrived in Korea

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Kia Motors Corporation announced yesterday that Christer Gerlach, the pioneering Swedish driver and adventurer, has arrived in Korea - the halfway point of his journey in which he plans to drive around the world solo in a standard 3.5 litre V6 Kia Sorento.

In the most recent stage of the 24,000 kilometre journey, Mr. Gerlach crossed the largely unmapped wastelands of Siberia enroute to the port of Vladivostok, Russia. The next leg of his route will take him from California to New York.

Yong-Hwan Kim, Senior Executive Vice-President and COO of Kia Motors Corporation, who handed over the keys to the new Sorento to Mr. Gerlach in August at the start of his momentous expedition, welcomed the intrepid driver to Korea and hailed his arrival as a significant milestone for Kia Motors.

"We are extremely proud of Mr. Gerlach having made it to the halfway mark in his journey. His adventure brings to life our brand slogan 'The Power to Surprise' and has allowed us to demonstrate to the world the quality and reliability of the Kia product line up" said Mr. Kim.

"The fact that Mr. Gerlach has arrived here in Korea, the home of Kia and the Sorento, after traveling through much of Europe and Asia, underlines how Kia has effectively become a global brand in recent years. We wish Mr. Gerlach the very best of fortunes for the remainder of his journey" he added.

Speaking on his arrival at Seokcho port in Korea on Thursday 6th October, Mr. Gerlach paid tribute to Kia and, in particular, to the Sorento, for its durability on the trip to date.

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"I made it through the whole of Asia with just two punctures, one oil change, one change of light bulb and a headlight shaken loose. Well done, Sorento!"

The trip through Asia presented a range of challenges for both car and driver. On the way to Ulan Bator, Mongolia, Mr. Gerlach had to travel through rough, desolate terrain, mostly off-road, while driving from Russia to western Mongolia.

"On one day, it was possible to travel just 160 kilometres, over rough tracks, gravel, large rocks and across fords in small rivers, through endless dust and eventually up into snow. During this period, night temperatures dropped to below zero and I had to sleep in the car for four nights" said Mr. Gerlach.

During his stay in Korea, while the Sorento is being transported to the USA, Mr. Gerlach is meeting a range of Kia executives, staff, and customers. He will also undertake tours of the company's manufacturing and R&D facilities in order to experience first-hand the production and design processes that produced the Sorento.

After crossing the USA on the second half of his journey, he will then fly to the UK and drive through seven other European countries on his way back to Sweden.


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