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Kia's 'Provo' steers into controversy

NEED TO KNOW
  • Kia announces concept car called 'Provo'
  • Car company urged to reconsider the name
  • Provisional IRA were referred to as 'the Provos'
Kia's 'Provo' steers into controversy

Kia may not have intended to cause a stink when it announced the name of its new car concept at the International Geneva Motor Show this year, but that's exactly what they ended up doing.

Called "Provo," the word also refers to a slang word for the Provisional Irish Republican Army. Considering that the organization brings to mind some of the IRA terror tactics in the UK, the word is not exactly considered positive. It didn't help that Kia's blurb about the car was that it "aims to set the streets alight." Uh ...

East Derry Democratic Union Party member of Parliament Gregory Campbell has tabled a motion on the car's name with the House of Commons. He says he did it because Kia needs to be aware of the seriousness of the issue and deal with their customers in a sensitive manner.

Kia has clarified in a press release that they will not be selling the car under that name in the UK, and that it may not even make it to the production stage at all.

"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."

"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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