• Picture
  • 11 August 2015

    What Can We Expect From Kia In The Future?

    Over the years, Kia has emerged as a strong car manufacturing contender but the brand is yet to achieve a household name. Around 60% of people in Britain are still unaware of the South Korean brand, but this however hasn’t stopped Paul Philpott, UK President and CEO of Kia Motors, from taking advantage of this as a future business opportunity.

    Brand awareness for Kia has grown by 25% over the last five years, according to the company’s own research. It does things like “sponsoring, investment and marketing to continue that growth” says Philpott.

    The new growth plans include a new flagship “Red Cube” dealership in West London, four-storeys high and visible to thousands of commuters heading in and out of the capital every day. High street presence and corporate identity is extremely important to Kia says David Philpott.

    Growth has led to a substantial increase in sales, which stood at just 30,000 a year in 2008, but this year they have already surpassed that number to 42,248 registrations, hoping to reach its target of 80,000 by the end of the year, which seems highly likely.

    Targets are set even higher, by 2020 they hope to reach 100,000 annual registrations, and expanding the range is likely to achieve this. The B-SUV segment is “exploding” says Philpott, with sales of the Venga and Soul models covering this segment. Kia is adding the Optima saloon, and soon a sports car into the mix.

    Philpott has said that “Launching a sports car has to be a global thing.” To justify the cost there must be a volume to make it work. “We are not going to give up existing sales over to something that hasn’t yet been tested.”  A sports car is coming though, similar to the design of the GT concept, launched four years ago.

    A hybrid is on its way too. It needs more specialised employees at dealerships, such as a technician and salesman; this will come with time as the market is still expanding. A broader range is always “a huge benefit for dealers” says Philpott.

    Kia have increased prices by 25%, but quality and technology have improved as well, Philpott says, “We’ve also done well with retention. People who paid less for our cars see the improvements and are willing to pay the little bit more for the amount extra they get.”

    The Sorento may have seemed too pricey for some, but it accounts for more than 50% of sales. The Picanto sales have slightly dropped, but they aren’t dismayed, as a new Picanto is in the works says Philpott, but it still needs refining.

    The dealer network is positive; it is in the top 2 dealers within the country for value placed by employees. There are currently working with 185 dealers and the brand is aiming to have 187 by the end of the year.

    Interested in a Kia? Take a look at our Kia range here or visit our Howards Kia Weston-super-Mare dealership today where you can test drive the latest range!

Howards Garages (Weston) Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Automotive Compliance Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA No 497010). Automotive Compliance Ltd's permissions as a Principal Firm allows Howards Garages (Weston) Ltd to act as a credit broker, not as lender, for the introduction to a limited number of finance providers and to act as an agent on behalf of the insurer for insurance mediation activities only.

Howards Motor Group Footer Logo Long