(October 16, 2014) Kia Motors America announced it has retained Chicago-based LimeGreen, LLC, to support its corporate initiatives targeting the African American market. The agency’s responsibilities are expected to expand to include other multicultural consumers.

“The entire LimeGreen family is excited to be in a position to contribute to the momentum of one of the most innovative brands in the automotive world,” said Michon Ellis (pictured below), Co-founder and CEO of LimeGreen, LLC. “As the U.S. market becomes increasingly diverse both ethnically and culturally, as proven by statistics, our agency is in a unique position to help clients such as Kia Motors strengthen their brand’s positioning and truly resonate with new audiences.”

Specifics of LimeGreen’s duties are still being finalized.  However, the agency is expected to help drive the U.S. multicultural communication strategy as well as Diversity and Inclusion efforts internally and externally for Kia Motors. Tactical responsibilities will likely include creative strategy development and execution, sponsorship activations, media relationships, and community outreach.

“To reach multicultural consumers you have to understand how they are different, how they are affected by history, culture, life experiences and values, while speaking to them authentically so they connect with your brand in their mind and in their heart,” said Rhonda M. Bolton, KMA’s Head of Corporate Diversity Initiatives. “We have chosen to retain LimeGreen for a number of reasons; the company has a proven track record of helping their clients better understand diverse consumers at their core, and LimeGreen’s leadership team has impressive knowledge capital in the areas of multicultural automotive marketing, Diversity and Inclusion, and social responsibility.”

According to the latest Multicultural Economy Report from the Selig Center for Economic Growth, the buying power of minority groups in the U.S. has reached new heights and continues to outpace cumulative inflation. The total consumer spending power of the U.S. multicultural market—the population exclusive of non-Hispanic whites—was $3.2 trillion in 2013. Of that figure, U.S. Hispanics accounted for $1.2 trillion, African Americans $1 trillion, and Asian Americans $713 billion.

Multicultural consumers accounted for 24 percent of U.S. new vehicle registrations in the first nine months of 2013, according to data from IHS Automotive. By 2016, the multicultural consumer segment is projected to contribute nearly $14.0 billion to the auto industry.

This year, KMA posted the best first-half performance in company history.  The momentum continued with record third quarter sales, including 40,628 units in September, up 6.9-percent over the same period last year.  As Kia celebrates its 20th anniversary in the U.S., the fast-moving brand continues to grow and mature with year-to-date sales up 6.9 percent, and its aggressive new product cadence continues with two important new products — the all-new 2015 Sedona and the company’s first all-electric, zero-emissions vehicle in the U.S., the Soul EV — now beginning to arrive in dealerships.

LimeGreen is a cross-cultural marketing agency founded in 2004 by Michon Ellis and Mike Stratta.  The agency’s clients include leading brands such as Discover Financial Services, McDonald’s Corporation and Luster Products as well as sector innovators, such as EdisonLearning.  Industry awards include Telly, Publicity Club of Chicago Golden Trumpet, and MarCom.  Also, LimeGreen was previously named one of the “Top 100 Engagement Agencies in the United States” by Event Marketer Magazine. For more information visit LimeGreen.