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Kia targets top 10 retail spot

Kia has set its sights on becoming a top 10 retail-sector brand in the UK within the next 36 months.

At the national dealer conference, Kia tasked its retail network with delivering 20% growth annually to take sales volumes to 50,000 in 2010, with two-thirds sold to retail customers.

That is key to managing director Paul Philpott’s strategy of establishing Kia as a top 10 player in the UK’s retail sales sector by 2010.

However, his 50,000 sales target is half the original 100,000 2010 target Kia set just two years ago.

Philpott has identified four areas that need attention: retail, fleet and used car sales; brand development; customer loyalty; and dealer development.

“The increase in retail focus is having a very positive effect on bottom-line profitability, and this will improve significantly in 2008,” said Philpott. “We’re confident that our focused growth plan is robust and will improve profitability.”

Last year dealers had trading margins of 12% across the range. With target-related bonuses, that could increase to 14%.

Kia wants its UK network to grow from 140 outlets to 170 within three years with both existing dealer partners and new recruits.

The carmaker expects all dealerships will need to increase new car registrations, but will help them through new wholesale funding terms, a published fleet discount matrix, full model availability for Motability and a stepped bonus structure.

Kia is spending £10 million this year marketing its new Cee’d model range. TV adverts have already begun, using the sporty-styled Pro_cee’d variant as a halo model.

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