Kia swimming against the tide
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.