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Kia on a roll in 2018

A chance this week to sit down with the Kia’s Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith. One of the straight shooters in the car industry Meredith is buoyed by Kia sales in the first two months running 3.4 percent up on the same time last year when many in the industry are showing minus figures. And he’s confident Kia will grow this year despite the fact that many see the year running below last year’s levels. Bullish perhaps however Kia is in a sweet spot well placed with models like the small Rio and Cerato, a good spread of SUV’s like the Sportage and Sorrento. On top of that their Picanto is the top-selling Micro car and the 7- passenger Carnival our most popular people-mover. Kia is now selling more vehicles than Holden, Honda, Nissan and Volkswagen something that seemed impossible just five years ago. Without doubt, the introduction of its industry-leading 7-year/unlimited kilometre warranty has been an enormous success plus its sponsorship of the Australian Open Tennis which gives Kia a big boost in the first month of the year. Several other companies have introduced a seven-year warranty for one month however Meredith says if any of them move to a permanent 7-year warranty he’d push his Korean head office to move to a 10-year warranty as offered in the U.S. Asked what he thought the uptake of electric cars would be by 2025 he suggests around 5% however he sees the growth from there to be very slow – Kia Aust. planning on launching the Niro electric SUV in January next year.
I’m David Berthon

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