DUP finds offence in Korean concept car
The DUP has drawn international amusement and scorn after claiming to be offended by the name given to a proposed new car by Korean manufacturer Kia.
The company is to unveil the design, a coupe-style ‘muscle car’ with an orange roof, at the Geneva Motor Show later this week. Tentatively called the ‘Kia Provo’, the name incensed DUP MPs Gregory Campbell and Willie McCrea.
The name ‘Provo’ is commonly used across Ireland as a slang term for the Provisional IRA.
However, the DUP duo dispelled any idea that their comments were an attempt to bring some light-hearted relief to the serious problems facing the North of Ireland. The hardliners quickly brought a motion before the Westminster parliament in London demanding Kia use a new name “which is not associated with terror and mayhem”.
Kia pointed out the vehicle was not due to be sold in Ireland or Britain under that branding in any event. The Korean manufacturer said they did not mean to cause offence, and that the ‘Provo’ title had been chosen at the company’s European headquarters in Frankfurt.
“The name comes from ‘provoke’ as in provoking a reaction, which the car is meant to do,” they said, pointing to the car’s angular styling and flame-top roof as the key attractions of the design.
Kia chief designer Gregory Guillaume described the car as an “emotional and muscular car aimed at delivering pure fun and performance for today’s city-based enthusiast driver”.
He said it was “cheeky and cheerful in its compactness” with a “hint at the fun awaiting on the open road”.
But Campbell claimed Kia had caused “deep offence”.
Only adding to the absurdity, the East Derry MP later claimed a success when informed the name would not be used in Ireland and Britain, and praised Kia for its “swift action”.