South Trail Kia
Posted on December 20, 2017
Auto Sales from the Future--Meet Kian!
His appearance may look a little like
the sinister Dalek robots from Doctor Who,
but his winking expression and the bright red Kia logo on his chest will
reassure you that he's not a villain. Plus, he's just so darn cute.
is the latest in Kia technology. Kian is a chatbot, or bot for short, and he's
here to help you find and buy your next Kia. Technically, Kian is an
"artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant," according to his
co-creator, CarLabs of Calabasas, California. They
partnered with Kia to debut Kian at the Los Angeles Auto Show in December 2017,
and it was some of the biggest Kia news at the show.
CarLabs sounds pretty proud of Kian.
According to their website, "Kian enables a mobile-first experience that feels like a conversation with
a human automotive expert, only smarter, because it instantly analyzes millions
of data points." The idea is
for Kian to help you research your next vehicle purchase, comparing models,
learning about features and options, and finding special sales or that exact
car you want, all without any pressure, at any time of day or night. Think of
Kian as that friend of yours who knows everything about cars and is happy talk
about them--particularly Kias!
Where Does Kian "Live"?
At his introduction, Kian is available
only on Kia's Facebook Messenger page. Eventually,
Kian will be found on Kia's North American websites. At this point Kian is
still learning on the job, so to speak. CarLabs says Kian "has a sophisticated analytics engine that
optimizes the experience based on user input and data." The more you chat with Kian, the more he
learns, and the better he can help you find exactly what you're looking for.
Does it work? Well, Kia's experience
with Kian's "ancestor" would suggest that it does. The earlier bot
was called NiroBot, and it was launched in November of 2016 to help Kia promote
its then-new Niro compact SUV. How successful was
NiroBot? Well, according to MediaPost.com, since NiroBot's launch,
"Kia realized more than 875,000 engagements from more than 33,000
consumers with more than 22,000 Niro crossovers sold to date." It sounds
like NiroBot has quite a knack for sales!
Kian Takes on New Territory
NiroBot has a single-minded focus on
selling Niros, like that sales person at a dealership who has a knack for
getting customers into one particular model. Kian wants to do it all, though.
Kian knows everything about every Kia, and what's more, he knows everything
about every Kia competitor and can tell you why a given Kia model is the best
car or truck for you.
a try. (You'll need a Facebook account for this link to work.) Ask Kian to show
you your local Kia dealer's inventory, and it will give you a link to the
dealer's inventory page, the dealer's phone number (ours is 1 888 439 5785, in
case you were wondering), a map and a link to the dealer's website.
Now, try asking Kian how many
horsepower the Kia Optima has. I just tried it, and Kian
replied, "The 2018 Kia Optima LX 185 hp @6,000 RPM. The 2018 Optima SX has
245 hp @ 6,000 RPM. (Giddy up!)" Apparently Kian is learning to have a
sense of humour, too!