Kia Provo upsets Northern Ireland

The Kia Provo Concept for a funky urban car has run in to trouble in Northern Ireland as its name evokes the Troubles.

Kia Provo picture

When the Kia Provo was revealed in the run-up to the Geneva Motor Show, we thought it was a cracking little urban warrior.

Looking like a Kia take on the Juke – although we think Kia see it more as a take on the MINi Countryman / MINI Paceman – it looks like a perfect direction for Kia to take with a ready market for butch little cars for blatting round town growing all the time.

But you can’t please all the people all the time, and Kia has run in to trouble with the Provo already, as Unionist MPs in Northern Ireland have taken exception to the name.

Kia say the Provo name is a take on ‘Provoke’ and was not intended to have any association with the name commonly used for the Provisional IRA, who were known as ‘Provos’ as the Troubles in Northern Ireland tore the community apart.

Gregory Campbell, DUP MP, said the Provo name had caused deep offence in Northern Ireland and has tabled a a motion on the Commons calling on Kia to change the name to something not associated with ‘Terror and Mayhem’.

It seems Kia were quick to respond, and have said that they will not market the Provo under that name in the UK or Ireland (so it is going in to production?). Steve Kitson, Kia’s Communication Director, told the Belfast Telegraph:

We’re sorry if anybody takes offence at it, but this car is not about Northern Ireland.

It’s a play on the Italian word and it was also linked to the desire to provoke emotions, to provoke aspirations, to make the car exciting and fun.

We’re sorry if anybody takes offence at it, but this car is not about Northern Ireland. We’re not going to do a Free Derry special edition or anything of that nature.

It’s to show what Kia’s designers are thinking, to gauge opinions and get feedback on the car, not the name.

It seems plans for the Kia Viking have also been put on hold for fear of upsetting the English.

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  1. Oblivious says

    Publicity seeking Ulstermen. Aren’t they the same killjoy shower who complained when Top Gear went to Belfast a few years back?

  2. Sacha says

    Does it really matter? It wasn’t done to offend and lots of words have more than one meaning. A silly overreaction by MP’s who want to be noticed.

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