By on October 29, 2010

Former Audi stylist and Kia chief designer Peter Schreyer may be on a tear right now, giving Kia some of the sharpest shapes in the mainstream market, but when it came to the old Sedona, Schreyer clearly didn’t put in a ton of effort. As‘s Brady Holt points out, the 2011 Sedona minivan’s “restyle” was so simple, Kia didn’t even need to take new press shots.  Instead they just photoshopped the new corporate grille and some side-mirror turn indicators onto the previous year’s press photos, and called it good. Weak sauce, guys.

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21 Comments on “Kia Sedona: Facelift By Photoshop?...”

  • avatar

    And put on new rims and a Mirror turn signal indicator.  Lots of touch up on this baby.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually I don’t see a problem with this.  They didn’t waste money on an unnecessary photo-shoot.  Most buyers don’t compare shots from two different years, and even most auto-journalists wouldn’t catch the trick.

  • avatar

    On the bright side for the Sedona, the grille and turn signal don’t really matter much – it’s still  inoffensive looking and a far better vehicle to spend time in than the Chrysler competition.

  • avatar

    Just about to say the same thing… new rims. The whole photo was lighten as well.

  • avatar

    Hilarious: Yes. Props given for lazy but effective effort: Yes Yes.

  • avatar

    The average minivan buyer doesn’t care about innovative, leading exterior design.  They care about reliabilty, crashworthiness, functionality, and cupholders.  Nissan tried to get all innovative with the Quest and look what that got them.

    • 0 avatar

      The problem with the Quest is that Nissan tried to be innovative but didn’t improve reliability.  it didn’t sell, so they made the interior more conventional and again didn’t improve reliability.
      Year-over-year “worse than average” ratings in Consumer Reports really hurt it, and minivan drivers are quite likely to be CR readers.  Had they fixed the quality problems they probably would have sold quite a lot of Quests despite the granite-pillar console.

  • avatar

    I suspect that this is more common than people think.  It’s really expensive to do an actual photo shoot, and you may have to ship vehicles across the country in order to find the correct location and weather conditions.

    When I worked at a certain heavy-truck manufacturer, when our new model came out in the late 1990s, we only had two prototypes (one of which was crash-tested a year prior to production start).  All of the marketing photos used the same picture of one of the prototypes, but the trucks in the photos were several different colors, NONE of which matched either prototype!

    • 0 avatar

      @redmond: I’d be surprised if they even photographed the car at a location. In fact, it may not even be an actual car. I would guess a very high resolution vector rendering, which would use the information from the original Alias (or whatever software they use) files. Using those files with updated information, it would be fairly easy to re-render the new model with little effort. Find or commission a suitable background for the “shot”, photochop in the car in the position you want, and bingo! instant car ad. Just add text.
      Granted, even a Photoshop hack could change colors and other items fairly easily, but I think the billable time would be pretty high, compared to just updating the vector information. These days it’s all about fast, fast, fast.

  • avatar

    See that little girl in the sprinkler? She’s a total prima donna since the first ad was printed. Rather than pay her another $500k plus royalties, Kia found a loophole in her contract and passed the savings on to the customer.

    • 0 avatar

      @ash: I doubt it. Many of these kinds of photos can be had for reasonable money and the models sign releases stating how the images will be used and how much in royalties they will receive. Then they’re off to the next photo shoot. Even if the models (there are two kids in that photo) signed a contract for rights-managed (meaning a recurring fee depending upon media and how often the image is used) images, that photo will have a shelf life. I know several models, most of them do this stuff part time. Nobody’s getting rich from that kind of modeling.
      With the advent of high quality digital cameras, and sites like (among others), there’s little you can’t find these days for very low prices. There is so much royalty free (meaning no recurring fees to use the images in different media) and commissioned photography out there that can be either rights-managed or royalty free, that I don’t know how photographers survive these days. Good for graphic designers like me, bad, way bad for them.

    • 0 avatar

      You don’t think, even for a minute, that ash78 *might* have been joking?

  • avatar

    Kia was careless when it redid its interior photo though. If you follow the link in the OP, it shows where they took out the background visible through the windshield…but left it in place out the driver’s window.

  • avatar

    This is not a cop-out marketing strategy.  Cynical thirty-somethings were meant to notice the photoshop.  What better way to out-hip Toyota in an age of high-tech fiscal conservatism?
    Besides, how else are you gonna sell Sedonas?

  • avatar

    It still doesn’t fix that the front fender is a different shade of beige than the doors.

  • avatar

    I like the look of the 06-10 Sedona, so adding the awesome corporate grille just makes it better.

  • avatar

    “the 2011 Sedona minivan’s ‘restyle’ was so simple, Kia didn’t even need to take new press shots.  Instead they just photoshopped the new corporate grille and some side-mirror turn indicators onto the previous year’s press photos, and called it good.”

    They didn’t even use last year’s photo. The original photo was used on the front cover of the 2009 Sedona sales brochure.[email protected]/4004145985/

  • avatar

    It’s a minivan, the proverbial box on wheels, all apologies to the Scion xB. Why spend the million$ to completely redo the thing THEN have to recertify for safety, crash testing, etc. I don’t know how well (or not) the Sedona is selling, but it seems to me that Kia applied a proportional amount of effort on the thing.

  • avatar

    Geez… we’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel here aren’t we?
    Does Nader know about this?  Now, we have finally we have discovered the TRUTH
    about cars… they are marketed by people who have to make pragmatic
    decisions.  That’s some hard-hitting journalism right there.

  • avatar

    Lexus photoshops their mild updates on all their vehicles on press photos, too. No big deal. Everything from taillamps, new chrome/wood trim in the cabin, new chrome handles, is easily done with photoshop. Just check out the ES350 press photos on their website. It’s the best-selling vehicle on their line-up and they can’t retake photos.

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