Kia has managed to get itself into a mess after releasing its new 246HP turbocharged Provo Concept at the Geneva International Auto Show.
The South Korean company got into trouble due to its concept hatchback's name and its association to the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), who engaged in bombing campaigns during the Troubles in Northern Ireland from 1967 to 1997, and whose members were often referred to as "Provos".
A report from Wards Auto said that Gregory Campbell, a member of the British Parliament from East Londonderry, filed a motion in the House of Commons seeking a ban of the name on the car if it were to be produced in England and Northern Ireland.
Campbell also took offense to the orange color of the concept car's roof as it is associated with Irish unionists.
Kia issued a response saying it had no intention of offense, and that the company's European headquarters in Frankfurt chose the name because "it comes from 'provoke'". And provoke it did.
"There is absolutely no intention by Kia Motors Europe to cause offense with the name of its new concept vehicle, the Kia Provo," said Kia in an statement.
"The Provo was designed and named at the company’s design studio in Frankfurt and is a concept vehicle only, rather than a production-ready car. Kia takes care to ensure that the name of every new model on sale is appropriate in all markets," the company continued.
"The name Provo comes from the word ‘provoke,’ as the aim of this racy, striking design study was to provoke a reaction amongst the audience. The orange roof was chosen as it was a popular color for sports-car buyers during the 1970s," Kia concluded.
Upon hearing this, Campbell calmed down and issued this response:
"Obviously, a large multinational company may not be aware of all the connotations surrounding a particular name," he said.
"The motion which I had tabled in the House of Commons was aimed at making Kia aware of the particular sensitivities and to request a change. In this case, Kia (officials) have acted quickly and issued a clear statement that they will not launch a car in the United Kingdom with this name and will not utilize this name in any other way."
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