KIA Motors has supplied a fleet of vehicles for the Australian Open after the completion of an epic 1,700 kilometre road trip.
Former Wimbledon and US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt drove a KIA Stinger from Brisbane to Melbourne, where he, along with Rafael Nadal – KIA global brand ambassador Rafael Nadal, winner of 16 Grand Slam titles and currently the world’s top-ranked tennis player – handed over to Australian Open organisers the official key for the 120-strong fleet of KIA vehicles.
The official vehicle handover ceremony took place today at KIA Drive, near Melbourne Park, with Australian Open organisers accepting the KIA Stinger, 60 KIA Sorento SUVs and 60 KIA Carnival (Grand Sedona) MPVs. The cars will transport players, match officials and VIPs throughout the two-week tournament, which starts on 15 January in Melbourne and finishes with the men’s singles final at Rod Laver Arena on 28 January.
“The Australian Open is a fantastic event that entertains millions of tennis fans globally,” Damien Meredith, Chief Operating Officer at KIA Motors Australia said. “KIA has been fortunate to be associated with the ongoing success of one of Australia’s best sporting events for the past 17 years and it’s exciting to think of what’s to come for the Australian Open and for KIA.”
“The first sign of the Australian Open is the sight of KIA cars all over Melbourne, ferrying the world’s best tennis players between the city and Melbourne Park.” said Craig Tiley, Chief Executive Officer at Tennis Australia, “We are proud of our longstanding partnership with KIA, and thrilled once again to accept the fleet of KIA vehicles that are such a vital part of the successful running of the Australian Open.”
This year marks the 17th year of KIA’s partnership with the Australian Open, and the 14th year of its association with Rafael Nadal. Over the past 17 years, KIA’s courtesy fleet has clocked up close to six million kilometres in tens of thousands of journeys carrying tennis players and match officials in comfort and safety. This year the KIA fleet will continue that tradition, driven by more than 300 Australian Open drivers who expect to clock up more than 300,000 kilometres in thousands of journeys during the tournament.