Korean car giant Kia has dropped plans to brand its new concept car Provo – after a flood of complaints from Northern Ireland.
The multi-national car manufacturer was due to unveil the super-mini sports model as a Provo before Unionist MP Gregory Campbell objected.
Campbell took his objections to the British House of Commons where he introduced a parliamentary motion against the plan and forced Kia into a rethink.
The Derry representative said the name offended those who had suffered at the hands of the Provisional IRA over 30 years.
Kia had described the concept car as a ‘road-legal racer’ designed to ‘set the streets alight’ while wowing its new owners with fittings such as ‘blood-orange toggle for the hazard warning lights’ and use of ‘blood-orange stitching.’
The Irish Times reports that the car is aimed at direct competition for other super-minis and larger models such as the Nissan Juke.
The report says the proposed Provo is being promoted by its developers as having a ‘button-activated creep-mode at low speeds to avoid emissions in city traffic or when ‘stealth’ is required.’
The concept car, according to the report, succeeded only in striking up a protest in Northern Ireland.
Campbell tabled a House of Commons motion on Tuesday demanding a radical rethink.
He said: “The campaign of IRA terrorism was not simply limited to Northern Ireland, but to the rest of the United Kingdom and even parts of mainland Europe such as Germany where it is understood the name was chosen at the company’s European headquarters in Frankfurt.
“In this case there can be little doubt about the offensiveness of the name, not least to those who suffered directly at the hands of Provisional IRA sectarian murderers.”
Kia responded quickly to contain the local PR disaster by announcing the car would be given another name if production goes ahead in the UK.
A company spokesman said: “There was absolutely no intention to cause offence.”
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