Since Kia UK boss Paul Philpott was appointed in February 2007, he has wanted to address two main concerns: Are new car sales growing and are dealers making enough profit?
On both points Philpott has enjoyed some success. Dealer profitability in the first half of 2008 is up by 22% and dealers are making £1,000 on each new car they sell, a margin of 1.6% return on sales.
New car sales were up 10% for the South Korean brand last month and fleet sales have grown by 33% so far this year.
As a result of these figures, Kia rewarded 30 dealers with a trip to South Korea before the British International Motor Show in July.
Kia has already added another 15 dealers to its UK network this year taking it to 148, and Philpott met with 25 more prospects at the motor show as he looks to make at least 10 more appointments before the end of 2008.
This will help towards Kia hitting its target of reaching a maximum of 170 dealers in the UK.
“We’ll continue to invest in marketing and TV advertising.
We’ll be one of the lead sponsors for World Cup 2010,” Philpott said.
Kia has set aside £16 million for marketing its products in the UK alone, slightly down on last year’s £17 million.
The marketing spend is helping Kia to acquire customers from other volume brands, to be further boosted by the possible addition of a convertible Cee’d and the Soul mini-MPV next year.