In a virtual round-table meeting with the media, Kia Philippines President Manny Aligada projected that the Korean brand is poised to hit triple-digit sales growth on its way to doubling its market share in the local automotive industry this 2021.
|Kia Philippines President Manny Aligada.|
That’s how big a rebound Kia Philippines can show in the next 12 months, after selling 2,129 units in 2020—the year 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.
Aligada’s optimism stems from Kia Philippines’ plan to “unbox” at least two new models this year, thus adding significant sales firepower 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.
Aligada also cited Kia Philippines’ shift to the digital sphere in 2020, enabling the carmaker to gain a wider audience and tap varied markets. He stressed that their efforts to go digital would intensify this year.
It will also be a year of going beyond just making the sale. In line with the Kia global brand’s focus 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 modish Kia units that would truly represent their renewed hope and optimism as they face the future. Then, in the early second half of 2021, the Kia brand refresh would shift the positioning from “value-for-money” to just simply “valuable”—forging an enduring connection with customers.
Dealership expansion is also in Kia Philippines’ to-do list, as it moves to grow 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.
To strengthen brand relationships, Kia Philippines has committed to the following: Improved parts availability using reliable partners for direct delivery, wherein parts would be available at the dealer within seven days; enhanced service quality and lead time with real time technical support using remote diagnosis system, and; lower cost of ownership. 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.