•Stinger, new-look Rio, Cerato coming
Stories Moses Akaigwe 08072100049
As 2017 tapers off to an end, Kia Motors Nigeria has announced that its brand recorded a sales increase of about 200 per cent over the performance in 2016. The rise in sales followed the recovery of the economy from the recession that hit all the sectors, particularly the auto market, two years ago.
Buoyed by the comparative improvement, the auto maker with a 27, 000 capacity plant in Lagos, plans to sustain the upward trend with the introduction of new vehicles and the re-poisoning of its nationwide sales and after-sales network in 2018.
Giving more insight into the growth, Kia Motors Nigeria explained that the business strategy and the extensive customer-based sales and service programmes it brings to bear on driving the popular Korean brand, contributed substantially to the success story so far.
Reacting to the development, the Chief Executive Officer, KIA Motors Nigeria, Jacky Hathiramani, acknowledged that a lot of marketing efforts and customer-satisfying positions were deployed to achieve the result.
“With our strategic business propositions, we are set to triple sales by expanding our units in operations (UIO) with increased new sales in the year 2018,” Jacky said, stressing that Kia had always stayed ahead of the curve with the top of the segment cars that have the advantages of low maintenance costs and affordability.
It will be recalled that with the recession came a sharp rise in the prices of products across all sectors of the economy two years ago. However, the Kia Motors Nigeria CEO maintained that his brand’s commitment to offering competitive pricing on its models played a major role in the record sales.
He noted that sales in the second half of 2017 were remarkable, hinting of his company’s plan to sustain the momentum and record more successes in the New Year. “There was an increase sales in the last six months compared with the same period last year. So, we project increased sales in 2018.”
Among the customer-based initiatives undertaken by the company in 2017 were the Kia Drive Your Dream and Ember Surprise Promos, which contributed immensely to the overall performance in the out-going year.
The introduction of Kia Double Deal Promo with over 15 percent discount on both parts and labour, also recorded tremendous success and helped increase Kia brand confidence among customers. “These programmes increased our customer retention and loyalty towards the brand,” said Hathiramani.
To sustain the sales growth in the New Year, Kia Motor Nigeria plans to introduce all-new cars and new-look successors to the existing models into the local, in addition to maintaining the advantage of offering highly competitive price tags on all vehicles.
This was confirmed by the Vice President, Olu Tikolo, while speaking at the Kia showroom on Akin Adesola Street in Victoria Island, Lagos, during a ceremony to announce a partnership with Cars45 on the provision of used vehicles and trade-in opportunities to customers.
Leading the new entrants, according to Tikolo, will be the widely acknowledged best-in-class high performance sports sedan – the Kia Stinger. The eight-speed automatic Stinger, like the new B-segment Kia Rio, will be hitting the market in the first quarter of 2018, while a newly refreshed Cerato is expected in the market in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, on the general low stock level pervading the industry, the company said it has outstanding orders for some models, and is looking forward to assembling the cars at its plant in Lagos.
Like the CEO, Tikolo is confident that Kia will consolidate and improve on its 2017 performance in the coming year.
He hinged his confidence on a number of factors, including back orders, which the plant in Isolo, Lagos, is expected to produce and deliver; increase in demands as campaign begins again in the next few months towards 2019 general elections; implementation of the 2018 budgets at various levels; and the continued recovery of the economy from recession.