KIA fuelled by optimism for coming year
Naza Kia Malaysia is expecting to finish off this year recording 5% less sales than it did in the previous year.
According to Naza Kia Malaysia’s chief operating officer, Datuk Syed Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar, part of this decline in sales is also down to the issue of supply, which has limited sales and deliveries of new models as well.
“In the last two years, HyundaiKia’s global sales have gone up by nearly 50%, raising a big challenge concerning supply as the company’s production right now can’t meet global demands,” explains Syed Hafiz.
That being said, as at the month of October, Naza-Kia Malaysia recorded a total sales figure of 8,000 units so far for this year. Despite the challenges, Syed Hafiz is optimistic about next year’s prospects.
“Next year, we are confident that we can achieve 20 to 30% higher sales. The Kia brand has been rebranded to be stronger in Malaysia with a top-down strategy where we started with the D-segment Optima, and have now worked our way down to the launch of the new A-segment Picanto,” he says.
With the launch of the Picanto, Syed Hafiz says that the company has refreshed its entire Naza-Kia passenger car model range and is in good stead for the coming year, with the new Cerato expected to account for nearly half of NazaKia’s sales next year.
Even so, Syed Hafiz believes that the total industry volume will be maintained around this year’s figure of 640,000 vehicles, as he feels the Malaysian car market is already saturated with a lot more customers that are replacement car buyers rather than new car buyers.
“Malaysia’s car market is steadily becoming a buyer’s market. You will soon see car companies launching more and more variants and expanding their model line-ups next year, thus widening customer choices in the market,” he continues.
“One area that we will be exploring next year will be the introduction of an MPV model. Right now that is the only model that is lacking in our refreshed range of passenger cars.”
To spur company growth next year, Naza-Kia will also be focusing on expanding their digital marketing to more online platforms as well as carrying out more experiential marketing campaigns.
These campaigns will involve hosting more roadshows at shopping centres around the country, including Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
As part of its experiential marketing efforts, Naza-Kia opened the first test drive centre in Malaysia, located in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, where customers can book a test drive online and go there to test drive a Kia from the centre.
Naza-Kia has plans to open more of such test drive centres in Alor Star and Johor Baru over the coming year.
On top of that, Naza-Kia will also be continuing its sports marketing by leveraging on Hyundai-Kia’s sponsorship of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Naza-Kia will be organising YouTube contests, various competitions, and more customer engagement campaigns in conjunction with the World Cup.
On the after-sales front, NazaKia has been bucking the trend by downsizing its showroom and service centre count in Malaysia over the last three years.
“We have reduced our showroom count from almost 80 to 51, and cut our service centres from 100 to 58 today.
The idea is to build on quality rather than quantity,” explains Syed Hafiz.
He adds that Naza-Kia is now focusing on upgrading its existing outlets to adopt Kia’s new corporate identity, as well as relocate some to more prominent locations to get more exposure.
Currently 55% of its 51 showrooms have already been upgraded to 3S centres, with plans to open three more flagship “Red Cube” 4S centres over the coming year. This brings the total “Red Cube” outlet count in Malaysia to six.
The new Cerato is expected to account for nearly half of Naza-Kia’s sales next year.