Monday, December 17, 2018
Under Ayala, Kia Philippines Aims for 10,000 Unit Sales in 2019
AC Automotive, Ayala Corporation’s automotive business company operating under AC Industrials (ACI), has announced that it will officially re-launch the Kia brand in the Philippines on January 30, 2019. This was formalized during a round table where Kia Philippines President Mr. Manny Aligada laid down the plans for the Korean automotive brand, the distributor of which was taken over by AC Automotive formally last December 5.
With a steadily declining market share during the past 4 years, Mr. Aligada said that Kia is facing an uphill battle to regain market relevance in the Philippines. However, he said that under AC Automotive’s stewardship, he believes that it’s easy to jumpstart Kia’s local operations once more while future-proofing the brand through innovation and disruptive technologies.
“For 2018 to 2019, AC Automotive is focused on stabilizing the Kia business. We will build the brand, emphasizing on our partnership with Ayala. Furthermore, with over 60 percent of the market relying on financing, we will also introduce competitive financing packages to drive up sales,” says Mr. Aligada. “We will also strengthen our partnership with our current dealer network which is 37 strong.”
Currently, AC Automotive plans to keep the current Kia line-up of 9 vehicles because it satisfies the needs and wants of a broad spectrum of the local market. With the Rio Sedan, Rio Hatchback, Picanto, Sorento, Soul, Sportage, Forte, Carnival, and K2500, they are able to play in 60 percent of the total auto segments in the country. However, they also plan to introduce 3 new “never before seen vehicles” in 2019 to further boost their market relevance.
With that, AC Automotive plans to quadruple Kia’s volume in the Philippines to 10,000 units in 2019 (2018 sales are projected to fall in the vicinity of 2,400).
In terms of warranty, Mr. Aligada says that AC Automotive will continue to honor Kia’s existing 5-year / 160,000-kilometer warranty. They will also plan to keep this—the country’s longest standard warranty—for the foreseeable future as a way to build customer trust and confidence in the brand.
Having said that, AC Automotive will also tackle on improving Kia’s aftersales service—bringing it to levels consistent with global standards. Through their Kia Promise to Care Programs, they plan to ramp up aftersales service quality, competence, and parts availability to provide every customer an exceptional service experience.
“Ayala has always been a customer-centric company,” reiterates Mr. Aligada. “With that in mind, we won’t just be bringing in great value products, but we will also be investing in people and enhancing Kia’s systems and processes. Our dealers will be aligned with Kia’s global brand standards within the next two years.”
Together with Mr. Aligada, Mr. Arthur Tan will sit as Kia Philippines’s Chairman and CEO. With AC Automotive’s acquisition of Kia, they now manage 6 brands locally: Honda, Isuzu, Volkswagen, KTM, and the upcoming Maxus.