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Kia targets triple-digit sales growth in 2021

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DURING the recently concluded virtual media roundtable discussion, Kia Philippines remains optimistic for the new year.

None other than president Manny Aligada projected that the Korean brand is poised to hit triple-digit sales growth on its way to doubling its market share in the local automotive industry in 2021. That is a significant recovery the South Korean automaker needs to achieve in the next 12 months.

Kia Philippines President Manny Aligada.

2020 was a big challenge for the entire local automotive industry, which suffered a 40 percent decline in sales (for a year-end total of just 240,000 units sold) due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic its resulting community and business lockdowns. As for Kia Philippines, it managed to sell 2,129 units last year. Aligada’s optimism stems from Kia Philippines’s plan to “unbox” at least two new models this year. This move is expected to add significant sales firepower to the company’s top three sellers in 2020—the Soluto subcompact sedan, the K2500 business and utility truck, and the recently launched Stonic crossover.

The Soluto held steady at the top with 39 percent of its total sales, followed by the K2500 with 17 percent. Despite being launched only in the last quarter of 2020, the Stonic achieved 200 units sales in December alone en route to cornering 16 percent of the volume of total deliveries. Likewise, the Seltos, Sportage, Picanto, Sorento, Carnival, and Kia’s roster contributed to total sales.

Aligada also cited the company’s shift to the digital sphere in 2020, enabling the carmaker to gain a wider audience and tap varied markets. He stressed that their efforts to go digital would intensify this year. It will also be a year of going beyond just making the sale.

In line with the Kia global brand’s focus on creating an emotional bond with its customers, Kia in the Philippines will also showcase its roster through various activities. Beginning with the ‘My Year, My Kia’ program would help customers acquire modish Kia units that would truly represent their renewed hope and optimism as they face the future. Come early second half of 2021; the Kia brand refresh would shift the positioning from “value-for-money” to just simply “valuable”—forging an enduring connection with customers.

Kia Philippines is also putting dealership expansion in its to-do list with five more new branches to add to its current dealer network of 40. This expansion would make Kia’s products more accessible to more Filipinos while boosting customer experience through parts and service programs.

When it comes to strengthening brand relationships, Kia Philippines has several commitments. One is to improve parts availability using reliable partners for direct delivery, wherein parts would be available at the dealer within seven days. Another is enhancing service quality and lead time with real-time technical support using a remote diagnosis system. Last, lowering the cost of ownership. These are on top of the Promise to Care program, in which customers are assured of a worry-free experience with the five-year warranty or 160,000 kilometers, whichever comes first (the K2500 comes with a three-year or 110,000 km-warranty), and the 24/7 Roadside Assistance that’s free for the first five years.

However, despite the thorough plans, Aligada concedes that the future is not set and that new challenges may present themselves along the way. “These new challenges will always be there, but Kia Philippines will remain resilient and strong-willed. After all, our Power to Surprise springs from our drive to serve,” he concluded.

A new era of brand

Meanwhile, also presented was the brand’s entry to a new era of brand transformation. It was in line with the global launch of Kia’s new logo early this year. Since 2013, the brand has been carrying “The Power to surprise” catchphrase. Moving forward, “Movement that inspires” will be the brand’s new slogan. The new logo design conveys bold, connected and expansive. “We create the space for you to get inspired and more time to bring your ideas to life,” said Artur Martins, Head of Global Brand and Customer Experience.

For his part, President and CEO of Kia Motors Corp. Ho Sung Song shared “Our vision is to create sustainable mobility solutions for consumers, communities, and societies globally. Today we start putting this vision into action with the launch of our new brand purpose and strategy for the future.”

In the global event, Kia’s new brand purpose emphasizes that movement is human development’s genesis. Movement enables people to see new places, to meet new people, and to have new experiences. This connection is the essence of Kia’s new brand—to enable human progress by providing innovative in-car spaces, exciting new products, and meaningful, convenient services that inspire customers and free up time for the activities they enjoy the most.

“Movement has always been at heart of our brand, and moving people at the core of our business. Movement helps humankind to constantly progress, improve, and evolve. That is why at Kia we believe that movement inspires ideas,” said Martins.

Image credits: Kia Philippines
Read full article on BusinessMirror

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