Kia has appointed seven new dealers this year and is still seeking to fill nine open points including Birmingham, Liverpool and Oxford.
National franchise manager Ian Wilson said in making changes to the Kia brand and its products, some dealers have taken opportunities to expand into a second site and are recommending Kia to others in the industry.
“Currently we are busier with prospect interest than we have even been. We have 138 dealers live in the UK with a medium growth plan rising to 150 and longer term to 170.”
Kia is looking for dealers in Birmingham, Bedford, Colchester, Croydon, Guildford, Liverpool, Northampton, Oxford and Sheffield, although in most cases it is in discussions with people interested in taking on the franchise.
Wilson said the major issue in filling gaps in major towns and cities is land cost.
He added: “But we take a view on the possibility of dual branding as a serious and pragmatic way to ensure long term success.
The seven appointments this year are Toll House in Worthing, Sutton Park Motor Company in Sutton Coldfield – its third Kia dealership – Ringways Garages in Doncaster – its second Kia
outlet – Downeys in Newtownards, Westover Group in Ferndown, Phoenix Car Company in Glasgow – its third Kia dealership – and Chorley Group in Blackpool.
Dealers see opportunity for growth and profitability
Wilson said: “Dealers who are expanding with Kia see an opportunity for growth and profitability for the future. Our help takes many forms, the major one being that we have maintained our core franchising standards at a level which doesn't demand raiding the piggy bank to become a dealer.
“We ensure a start up process which includes full involvement from every department in Kia to ensure new dealers get off to a flying start, and Kia in the UK is a size of company where our dealers aren't just numbers. They are people and our partners. We take every possible care to ensure best business practices are in place at an early stage, and have a management
programme which looks at all financial aspects of the business from the outset.”