LA Auto Show 2017: Five minutes with Kia's Orth Hedrick

LA Auto Show 2017: Five minutes with Kia's Orth Hedrick
Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning at Kia Motors America, attends the 2017 LA Auto Show. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

We asked executives in town for the LA Auto Show a few questions about cars, driving and the future of the automotive industry.

Here’s what Kia Motors’ product planning vice president, Orth Hedrick, told us:


What’s your daily driver, and how long is your average commute?

I have been a longtime Rio owner, and I love it. I have a fairly long commute (35 miles), so the Rio’s great MPG really pays off.

What’s your favorite weekend or summer holiday drive?

Living in Southern California means I have access to some wonderful driving roads, including Ortega Highway, Angeles Crest Highway and some of the back roads from San Diego to Palm Springs. And since I also have access to the new Stinger, I can sample those roads in a very capable performance sedan.

In what country, or in what area of this country, are the best roads for driving?

I’ve got family in New Mexico, and there are some amazing roads to be found in that neck of the woods.

What’s the top speed you’ve ever traveled in a car, and where did that take place?

160 mph in Japan (Skyline GTR while working at Nissan).

What’s the most exciting change currently at work in the automotive industry?

Autonomous technology and electrification.

The LA Auto Show runs Dec. 1-10 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Times coverage is at