Aims for triple-digit growth for 2021, will also launch 2 models, with 2 more in the pipeline
Despite the downturn effects of the pandemic during 2020, Kia Philippines is doubly optimistic for 2021. The market behaved unusually during the lockdown, revealing some trends that Kia noted and penned in its strategy book and intends to apply it in the coming model year.
Hit the ground running
After selling only 2,129 units in 2020, in which the entire local automotive industry 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 and its resulting community and business lockdowns. During a Round Table Discussion, the Korean brand surprised the motoring media by revealing a target of triple-digit sales growth on its way to doubling its market share in the local automotive industry this 2021.
Kia Philippines President Manny Aligada is confident that the whole Korean brand will recover this year. His optimism stems from Kia Philippines’ plan to “unbox” or introduce two new models this year (with reportedly two more models to follow) , thus boosting substantial sales blitz 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 the company’s total sales, followed by the K2500 with 17 percent. The Stonic—albeit being unveiled only in the last quarter of the year, sold 200 units in December alone en route to cornering 16 percent of the volume of total deliveries. The Seltos, Sportage, Picanto, Sorento, Carnival and the rest of Kia’s roster also contributed to total sales.
Mr. Aligada also cited Kia Philippines’ shift to the digital sphere in 2020, enabling the carmaker to gain a wider audience by bringing the showroom to their homes via “virtual tours” of the dealership, displaying each model and their features, as well as sealing deals and finalizing purchase. Also, Kia Philippines also offers to bring the preferred unit to the potential buyer to test drive the vehicle. No need to go to the dealerships.
Customers comes first
More than just making a sale, Kia global brand’ is focusing on creating an emotional bond with its customers Kia in the Philippines will also showcase its roster through a series of activities, beginning with the “My Year, My Kia” program that would help customers acquire stylish Kia units that would truly represent their unique personality. This Kia brand refresh would shift the positioning from “value-for-money” to just simply “valuable”—forging an enduring connection with customers.
Reaching Out Nationwide
Dealership expansion is also a priority as it moves to add its current dealer network of 40 with five more openings and appointments. This expansion would make Kia’s products more accessible to more Filipinos, while boosting the customer experience through parts and service programs.
Faster Service and Parts
To better improve dealer-client relationship, Kia Philippines has committed to the following: Improved parts availability using reliable partners for direct delivery, (parts availability guaranteed in (7) seven days), enhanced service quality and lead time with real time technical support using remote diagnosis system. 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.
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.
Bank Financing Review
Due to the negative financial effects of the pandemic, Kia is also veering away from easy purchase deals and zero deposit schemes that have become rampant nowadays. This is to distance itself from the wrong kind of customers. While there is definitely a demand for new cars, the liability and risks are far too great and may result to more repossessions or default payments. However, they see customer profiles improving (lower default rates) within the next three quarters.
Guarding the Safeguard
Another obstacle to hurdle is the DTI’s safeguard measures that will add tariffs on imported cars. (China sourced units not included). The company projects that the safeguard measures could result in a slow sales recovery this 2021.
Kia Philippines reasserts its commitment to the the local market by means of better products and service, not to mention providing a more valuable brand. After all, it is a “movement that inspires”.