Kia eyes off the fast lane
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.