According to figures posted on Twitter by advertising agency owner Ashwinn Krishnaswamy, there are about 30,000 web searches for “KN Motors” every month. According to The Drive, the spike in searches – it seems – comes from people trying to figure out if they’re missing out on a brand-new car company. It all started early last year, just as Kia vehicles with the new logo were about to hit the streets.
The data also shows thousands of hits per month for popular search results, including “KN car brand,” “KN car logo” and “KN Fiesta car” (“trade name for the Fiesta Kia compact passenger and cargo vehicle).
It’s hard to blame people for being confused by the new logo; to be sure, Kia isn’t a small brand, but it’s also not so small that it’s the company most people are trying to figure out who they really are. The new logo’s ultra-modern, linked letters KIA look like KN, and when it adorns a sedan, SUV or crossover with a very mediocre design, the KN-looking logo becomes the point of most attention instead.
Public confusion about Kia is not a new phenomenon – Creative Bloq discussed almost a year and a half ago that this rebranding had people confused by the new logo.
The good news for those confused is that Google was able to point them in the right direction; the top result for “KN cars” is Kia’s website.
A screenshot of Google’s search results for KN cars, showing three news items and an answer to the question “What does KN mean on a car”, reads “KN stands for German Phraose kiene nummer, literally without numbers.
When The Drive tried to search for “KN car” on other search engines, DuckDuckGo and Bing didn’t do very well. Both search engines still didn’t do a good job of surfacing Kia’s website; the former had only one link to the automaker’s website on the first page of its results (oddly enough, it pointed specifically to Niro’s page), while Bing had no links at all. Ironically, however, they do show all the articles about the confusing “KN” car brand, which should put people on the right path.
The real victim of all this is K&N Auto Parts, a brand that some people may be familiar with if they have spent any time in the air/oil filter section of this auto parts store. Currently, its site ranks high in search results for “KN Automotive,” but a minor overcorrection by Google could bury it.