Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Kia Philippines Played Its Cards Right and Shows Strong First Half 2019 Sales


When Ayala Automotive took over the distributorship of Kia in the Philippines, one of the first promises they made was to turn around the business. After six months of operation, it seems they’ve done just that. And carrying the bulk of the work? The Soluto.

Launched on the same evening as Kia’s brand re-introduction under Ayala Automotive, the Soluto re-wrote the rules in the sub-B segment passenger car category. Competing, price-wise at least with the likes of the Toyota Wigo, Honda Brio, Mitsubishi Mirage G4, and Suzuki DZire, the Soluto provided class-above space and features backed up by a competitive entry-price. The Soluto was so much of a game-changer that its platform rival, the Hyundai Reina, was launched just a day later with a lower introductory price; the Hyundai has become more expensive since then.

With that in mind, the Soluto sold 1,441 units from January to June 2019 accounting for 60 percent of Kia’s Philippine sales. Broken down further, the variants equipped with the automatic transmission—the LX A/T and the EX A/T sold the most (67 percent), reiterating Kia Philippines’s sound market approach.

“The success of the Soluto shows Kia Philippines got the right approach when it comes to the Filipino buyer. We’ve realized that while price is always a good come-on, the real reason why people a car is a car is value. The Soluto, with standard features such as an advanced infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, appealed a lot to buyers,” says Luigi Ignacio, Marketing Director for Kia Philippines. “Of course, this is notwithstanding the Soluto’s excellent packaging, efficient drivetrain, and great standard safety features—some of which remain optional or unavailable in other competitors in this price range.”

As for the rest of the year, Kia isn’t going to slow down.

“We have already introduced the likes of the Stinger GT and Forte GT at the Manila International Auto Show. More importantly, we have also introduced the Euro-4 compliant K2500 light-duty truck which should help us maintain our strong sales until the end of the year,” says Jun Cajayon, Sales Director for Kia Philippines. “We are also in the process of improving our dealership network, as well. Of course, we still have that one mystery unboxing towards the end of the year.”

Despite the Philippine automotive market registering a relatively flat first-half, it looks like Kia Philippines has indeed sprung a surprise, at least in shaking up the status quo.

2 comments:

  1. Their sales from last year were from the doldrums so there is no way to go but up... but there are still a lot of Kia showrooms with no car displays and closed dealers as well

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  2. Sounds to me like price in proportion to features was the driving factor of sales. To me, KIA is still a big question mark in terms of afters sales service, reliability and overall ownership experience.

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