OPTIMISTIC KIA PUTS FOOT DOWN IN QUEST FOR MARKET LEADERSHIP
KIA is looking to step up from mainstream player to market leader and the mid-sized Optima sedan is its opening salvo.
Rather than pitch the Optima as a cheap alternative to a Mazda6 or Toyota Camry, the South Korean company has loaded the car with everything from autonomous emergency braking to leather-trimmed seats and satellite navigation.
The price rises accordingly to $43,990 before on-road costs for the top-spec GT but Kia is confident its seven-year warranty will sweeten the deal for most buyers and bring it around 3000 sales a year.
It predicts it will be evenly split between fleets, who are expected to opt for the entry Si model at $34,490 with a naturally aspirated 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, and private owners who will gravitate to the GT, not least because of its far punchier 2.0-litre turbo engine.
“The seven-year warranty has helped the brand and our resale values, now we’re moving up to the next step which is for the cars to represent the best value in each segment, rather than the lowest price,” Kia Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith says.
Optima ... there’s even a GT.