Kia swim­ming against the tide

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Mo­tor­ing -

Sharp pric­ing and value for money keeps Cer­ato keep­ing on in the small­car seg­ment, with sales up 10.2 per­cent this year, to 8541 units to date.

In the peo­ple-mover seg­ment, the Car­ni­val stands like a colossus, now hold­ing a 56 per­cent share.

With 2902 sales this year, the fam­ily bus has not rested on its lau­rels, putting on 12 per­cent more vol­ume and sin­gle­hand­edly keep­ing the seg­ment in the black.

In the light-car seg­ment, Kia’s Rio is only a mid­dling per­former, but it has been one of the few cars to swim against the tide, im­prov­ing sales by 2.5 per­cent as the seg­ment has slumped 11.6 per­cent.

In the small­est cat­e­gory, mi­cro, the Pi­canto is the giant, cur­rently hold­ing al­most 80 per­cent share with 2361 sales.

While sev­eral man­u­fac­tur­ers have bailed out of the seg­ment, say­ing it is all too hard, Kia has achieved a 17 per­cent sales gain this year, along with many plau­dits from mo­tor­ing crit­ics for the com­pe­tence of its baby model.

Not all Kia pas­sen­ger cars have en­joyed in­creased de­mand from buy­ers, with the Stinger large car down 14.1 per­cent this year, to 770 sales.

How­ever, that is against a back­drop of a 31.3 per­cent crash in national large car sales this year, with the seg­ment-lead­ing Holden Com­modore down 36.1 per­cent.

Kia plans to eu­thanise its slowsellin­g mid-sized sedan, the Op­tima, by the end of the year, while at the same time re­plac­ing its boxy Soul with an elec­tric-only ver­sion of the new-gen­er­a­tion Soul in a two-pronged EV at­tack with the e-niro in the first quar­ter of next year.

In the SUV mar­ket, Kia’s year-to­date vol­ume is down 8.1 per­cent, com­pared with the SUV mar­ket de­cline of 4.6 per­cent.

That is mainly on the back of an 18.3 per­cent fall in Sor­rento sales – its con­tender in the large SUV seg­ment.

Kia’s top-sell­ing model, the Sportage medium SUV, is not far­ing too badly, as its 5532 sales this year rep­re­sents a 4.6 per­cent de­cline – ex­actly in line with the SUV mar­ket.

And Kia has SUV re­in­force­ments rid­ing to its aid in the form of its all-new Sel­tos small SUV – its first en­trant in a class that has done bet­ter than most other SUV classes in re­cent times.

The Sel­tos – a name de­rived from Cel­tos, the son of Greek god Her­cules – is due to be re­vealed glob­ally within weeks ahead of an on-sale de­but in Aus­tralia in the sec­ond half of this year.

Ul­ti­mately, Kia Mo­tors Aus­tralia also has its col­lec­tive fin­gers crossed for a pick-up truck to add to its line-up by 2022 to take the LCV fight up to the ma­jor play­ers.

PRICE IS RIGHT: Sales of Kia’s Cer­ato are up 10.2 per­cent this year as the South Korean im­porter main­tains the value equa­tion on its small car.

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