The Kia Picanto was designed as a city car and is manufactured by the South Korea car company Kia. It has been on the market since 2004. In South Korea, Chile, and Hong Kong it is called the Kia Morning. In Taiwan it is called the Kia EuroStar and it is referred in Vietnam as the New Morning. The Picanot is only manufactured as a joint venture with Donghee located in the city of Seosan, South Korea.
The first generation of the Picanto was first shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the year 2003. The idea for the vehicle was based on the Hyundai Getz, using a shorter platform and a body style of a hatchback. In order to increase the appeal of the vehicle for the European market, it was designed with several features including a CD player that offered MP3 audio playback, front and back electric windows, air conditioning, electric mirrors, and remote central locking. All of these were advertised using a campaign that featured Marcus Gronholm. The advertising was short lived.
There have been several updates to the Picanto since it was first introduced. In 2007, the vehicle received new light clusters in the front and the back, a new grille, and a newly designed bumper. For the market in the United Kingdom an indicator stalk was moved over to the other side. In the Italian market there was a bi-fuel option that was introduced along with the 1.0 and the 1.1 liter engines.
The Picanto that was released for the model 2010 year had some minor exterior and interior chances as well. This included the introduction of a tiger nose grille.
The second generation of the Kia Picanto debut in 2011. This second generation was designed by the design team of the company that is based out of Frankfurt, Germany. The design team was led by Peter Schreyer.
The newer model has a longer wheel base and is longer in length overall than the first generation model. It is offered with 2 choices of gasoline engine, a 1.0 L 3 cylinder and a 1.25 L 4 cylinder.
The Kia Picanto is available throughout the world except in Australia, Singapore, China, Venezuela, and North America as a five door hatchback. The European market has the 3 door variety of the vehicle. The 3 door version is similar to the 5 door, but it has different doors and windows. The 3 door variety has a different front grille and bumper as well.
In some areas, the name Picanto is followed by a modifier because of marketing. Some of the examples include in Columbia it is the Picanto Ion and in Ecuador it is the Picanto R.
One of the unique marketing campaigns that was employed by Kia for the Picanto was a promotional video that used nail art animation. This advertisement was the first of its kind. In the video there were more than 900 artificial nails that were used and more than 1200 nail polish bottles. It took 25 days as each of the nails took about 2 hours to paint. The nails were then used to create different images of the Kia Picanto moving.
The Picanto is an official sponsor for the dating show called Take Me Out that airs in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom sent out several viral videos on the YouTube channel in order to promote the program and the vehicle. The videos feature Natasha Barrero driving a Black Picanto as she is eyed by different men.