The local arm for Korean carmaker Kia–now under the new distributor AC Industrials, an Ayala company–made a stunning performance for 2019 after it made a 124 percent year-on-year sales growth.
Kia’s skyrocketing sales was attributed to the four: Soluto sub-compact sedan, the K2500 light-duty truck, the Grand Carnival minivan, and the newly-launched Seltos sub-compact crossover.
The Soluto led the increase, capturing 51 percent of sales volume, followed by the K2500 with 21 percent, Grand Carnival with 13 percent, and 7 percent for the Seltos.
The Soluto with its 1.4-liter motor with Dual CVVT technology producing 95ps and 132Nm of torque, spacious interior, 7-inch Touchscreen Audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, rearview camera, and steering wheel controls as standard provide a value-for-money proposition for its class. The higher-spec EX variant adds leatherette seats, alloy wheels and rear park distance sensors. It is the perfect car for first-time car buyers looking for a feature-packed offering.
The K2500, meanwhile, is a light-duty truck that’s heavy on features and flexible according to your needs. It is equipped with a 2.5-liter turbocharged diesel engine that produces 130ps and 255Nm of torque, mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. It is available in the following configurations: Karga, Kargo, Closed Van and Dropside. The K2500 is the ideal logistics partner of budding entrepreneurs and businessmen.
The Grand Carnival has been Kia’s people carrier since its introduction two decades ago. The latest-generation is powered by a 2.2-liter CRDI diesel engine delivering 200ps and 441Nm, paired with an 8-speed automatic. Boasting luxury car features, the Grand Carnival in its EX 7–seater variant is equipped with window sunshades, dual moonroof, power sliding doors and tail gate, full auto air-conditioning with three-zone capability, an 8-inch Touchscreen Audio with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and a versatile cabin with various seating configurations.
It is the minivan for accomplished executives who can use it as a family-friendly ride or a daily mobile office.
The Seltos, Kia’s latest model launched in November 2019, packs a 2.0-liter Dual CVVT engine with 149ps and 179Nm. This powerplant is mated to a new Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) with Drive Mode Select that allows the driver to switch between different modes to suit one’s driving preference. Its standard features include: 8-inch Touchscreen Audio system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, rear view camera and full fold rear seats with the top-of-the-line SX offering full LED head and tail lights, LED daytime running lamps and signature position lamps, automatic climate control, smart entry with push button and remote start, Electronic Stability Control, and 6 airbags. The new Seltos is the crossover of choice for high-achieving young professionals and couples starting a family looking for a stylish and flexible ride.
The Stinger, Sorento, Sportage, Forte, Rio and Picanto complete the entire Kia line-up that sold a total of 5,019 vehicles in 2019—a 124 percent jump from the 2,238 vehicles sold during the previous year.
Kia president Manny Aligada expressed elation over their record-breaking achievement.
“We are pleased with the strong performance of Kia Philippines in 2019. As we enter 2020, Kia Philippines looks forward to surpassing its record with new vehicle introductions, the opening of new dealerships, and better aftersales services,” Aligada noted.
Under AC Industrials, Kia unboxed to the country the Soluto back in January last year to drumroll the brand relaunch after it was acquired from the Alvarez group.
After that, Kia delivered with the debut of the Stinger and the Seltos, as well as refreshed offerings in its vehicle range throughout 2019.
Meanwhile, Aligada in an interview, said that they will still work on continuing the growth path.
“As 2019 was the year to stabilize, 2020 onwards would be growth years. Priorities include 1) dealer development to include improvement of current ones and expansion to new areas where we do not have presence, 2) improvement of the customer experience for sales and after sales and parts, 3) continued product offering via new model introductions and enhancement of existing ones, 4) continued offers of financial bundles for easy ownership,” he told CARMUDI Philippines.