Kia urged to reconsider 'Provo' as new car name

Tuesday 05 March 2013 23.27
The concept car 'Provo' is to be shown at the Geneva Motor Show
The concept car 'Provo' is to be shown at the Geneva Motor Show

Car manufacturer Kia has been asked to reconsider changing the name of its new concept car, amid claims it has deeply offensive connotations.

The Korean firm has named the new car "Provo".

East Derry DUP MP Gregory Campbell said the Kia Provo was shown at the Geneva Motor Show this week.

He said the company's choice of name has offensive connotations because the Provisional IRA were commonly referred to as "the Provos".

Mr Campbell has tabled a motion on the issue in the House of Commons.

The MP said the IRA's terrorist campaign was not limited to Northern Ireland, but also to UK and parts of mainland Europe, including Germany.

It is understood the name was chosen at Kia's European headquarters in Frankfurt.

He said it was not unusual for car manufacturers to change the name of a certain model or rebrand it in certain parts of the world, because the name will have different and sometimes offensive meaning in other languages.

Mr Campbell called on Kia to reconsider the name and he hoped by tabling a Commons motion it would help "reinforce with Kia the seriousness of the issue and the need to deal with their customers in a sensitive manner".

A Kia spokesman said the company would not sell a car called Provo in the UK.

He said the firm had written to the DUP MPs about the car and was sorry if any offence was caused.

The spokesman said: "The name came from a merge of provoke - because we wanted to excite motoring enthusiasts with a car designed to deliver fun and performance - with a reference to Italian prova plates to signify a prototype.

"This car is a design concept and no production car is yet planned.

"We will not be selling a car in the UK named Provo, not now, not ever.

"We regret any misunderstanding of a motor show name and we are sorry if anyone was offended - this was a genuine creative naming process and no offence was intended."

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