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IRVINE, Calif.-Kia Motors America is taking its Sportage sport-utility on an ad road trip in the West and Southwest.

A pair of TV spots breaking today in those regions back the Sportage, the South Korean car marketer's ambitious new entry into the booming segment.

The tongue-in-cheek commercials from Goldberg Moser O'Neill, San Francisco, follow the exploits of two drivers as they steer a Sportage from France to Africa in the grueling Paris-Dakar Rally.

The Sportage is positioned as a dependable, high-quality vehicle at an affordable price. Kia retains its tagline: "It's about time everyone had a well-made car."

Sportage is expected to draw more attention to Kia as the nameplate expands into national distribution by early 1997.

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