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Better days ahead For KIA, says Ayala

/ 05:09 AM December 18, 2018

After bagging the local distribution deal for Korean automotive brand Kia, the Ayala group is positioning the brand to be a more significant local player and targeting sales to return to peak levels breaching 10,000 units during its first full year of stewardship in 2019.

Kia—now under AC Automotive, the automobile business company operating under AC Industrials—will be officially relaunched on Jan. 30, 2019, during which three new models will be introduced to the local market.

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“If you look at Kia internationally, it’s an award winner. It’s known for good reliability. We want to replicate that in the Philippines,” Kia Philippines president Manny Aligada said in a press briefing yesterday.

In terms of number of units, Kia Philippines aims to sell “north of 10,000” by next year, potentially replicating the record-high volume eked out by the brand in 2015 which was then achieved after 15 years of brand-building, Aligada said. The lower-priced vehicles—particularly compact car Picanto, which sells for P635,000 to P798,000—are seen to comprise the bulk of projected sales in terms of volume.

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“We are working to be competitive in several aspects. Price is one, that’s a critical consideration, but that’s not the only one,” he said, noting that Kia as a brand is present in 60 percent of critical segments most relevant to the current market.

The existing dealership network of Kia—37 in all, of which 10 are in Metro Manila and 27 outside Metro Manila—is seen enough to revive annual unit sales to over 10,000 as what had been achieved by the same network, Aligada said.

The group sees room to expand the dealership network even in Metro Manila, which accounts for more than half of industry-wide sales.

This year, Kia Philippines is expected to end with a market share of only 0.6 percent with full-year unit sales of around 2,400. Kia’s market share in the Philippines peaked at 4.1 percent in 2012 but progressively declined since then.

Aside from Kia, AC Automotive manages five other vehicle brands, namely: Honda, Isuzu, Volkswagen, KTM motorcycles and Maxus.

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TAGS: Ayala, Business, Kia
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