New models to fuel big numbers for Kia
Kia aims to grow its UK sales by around a quarter in the next two years, fuelled by a host of new models.
The brand is looking to boost its numbers in Britain from the 56,000 sold last year to 70,000 by the end of 2012.
The all-new Picanto city car, in showrooms in June, will be followed in September by an also completely new Rio supermini, giving the brand a significant push in two volume market segments which are very important to it.
Before the end of 2011 the Optima large car will also launch as a halo model at the top of the range.
Speaking to Headline Auto, Kia UK managing director Michael Cole says he wants to boost Picanto sales from the current 7.5 per cent to a 10 per cent share of the city car segment in the model’s first full year in 2012. This would equate to around 15,000 cars.
Cole expects Picanto sales this year to reach 6,500, aided by a three-door version of the car which will join the range in two months’ time.
“The three-door will be important because it will open up the Picanto to different buyers,” Cole says.
“It has a much more sporty, dynamic look which will appeal to younger drivers and, hopefully, more male drivers.”
The new Rio was launched in concept form (pictured) at the Shanghai Motor Show last month and Cole sees this car as the real volume booster. “Historically the car has been a little bland and has not done too well for us but the new car is much more dynamic and ‘European’ and I hope it will do for us in the B segment what cee’d did in the C sector.”
Cole does not expect large volume sales for the Optima D-segment car – certainly not to Ford Mondeo or Vauxhall Insignia levels.
“Optima is a model that will showcase what we can do and I believe we will sell a good number,” he says.
With these models Cole expects Kia sales to total around 57,000 this year – this compares to 56,000 in 2010 but some 12,000 of those were attributed to the government’s scrappage scheme.
With the new cee’d family car due next year Cole is aiming for annual volumes of 70,000.
“Our volumes are going to grow significantly with the new models we have coming – by 2013 Soul will be the oldest vehicle in our line-up,” he says.
Words by: Andrew Charman