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Kia dealers 'reaping the rewards' of their allegiance says Philpott

Dealers who have stayed with Kia are reaping their rewards, says Paul Philpott, president and chief executive of the company's UK operation.

Those dealers have also kept Kia in third spot for the second year running in the National Franchised Dealers Association's satisfaction index and they are getting a 1.8 per cent return on sales, which is up amongst the top manufacturers.

Philpott said: "We held our national dealer conference in January and they really get what is happening. Not only are sales up, but so is the total Kia vehicle parc in the UK and that means a lot of more aftersales and servicing potential."

Kia has 173 dealers in the UK and the long term plan to hit 185 to give full geographical coverage.

Philpott said: "We are in the very encouraging position of having more new prospects than open points. People are keen to join the franchise.

"Those dealers who only have Kia are doing very well and there are some who have other struggling brands which does stretch them a bit but most are in a good position to invest further and we would like to work with our existing partners as we grow."

The only dark cloud on the horizon, he said, is the struggling new car market in Europe.

"Some manufacturers might look at how well the UK market is doing and start discounting heavily to push more products. That is something we will have to deal with if and when it happens."

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