Kia eyes off the fast lane

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

SALES of Kia cars in Aus­tralia could top 30,000 this year. The South Korean car­maker is plan­ning for 27,000, but the ‘‘stretch tar­get’’ set by Kia chief M.K.Kim is based on an­other year of more than 20 per cent growth.

‘‘This year, per­son­ally I’m go­ing for 30,000. Last year the mar­ket in­creased by 10 per cent, and we were dou­ble. With this kind of trend, with good prod­ucts, I do be­lieve we can achieve 30,000 with ad­e­quate sup­ply.’’ Kim says the other ob­jec­tive is to in­crease Kia’s re­sults rel­a­tive to Hyundai in Aus­tralia.

‘‘Still we are un­der 50 per cent of Hyundai. So ev­ery time our head­quar­ters is ask­ing us to do at least half of Hyundai.

‘‘Crit­i­cal ac­claim will lead peo­ple to switch be­tween brands. Con­sumers are now putting our cars on their shop­ping list.’’

But Kia says it has no in­ter­est in V8 Su­per­cars rac­ing in Aus­tralia.

It is one of the brands some­times touted as a new en­try to the Ford­ver­sus-Holden bat­tle­field, but Kim says it has no ap­peal for Kia.

‘‘Kia is not ad­verse to motorsport, but V8s are pos­si­bly not the area. Par­tic­u­larly with the model line-up we have in Aus­tralia.

‘‘There is not re­ally an en­gine in the Kia world that would com­ply with the re­quire­ments of V8 Su­per­cars rac­ing.

‘‘We used to have the rally cars. But at the moment we don’t have them ei­ther,’’ Kim says.

He says Kia has switched its sports mar­ket­ing fo­cus to events such as the Aus­tralian Open ten­nis and in­volve­ment in soc­cer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.