The notoriously difficult-to-fill sites around the UK include parts of London – in particular Croydon – the centre of Manchester and Birmingham.
A number of dealers have been recruited recently though and these are in the process of being approved – Car Dealer can reveal that 15 are set to be appointed this year alone , taking the total to 170.
But there are still problem areas to tackle and this is well known with those at the top.
Kenny Lee, Kia’s senior vice president for Europe, told us during a press conference in Korea the maker had been trying hard to fill these key city areas.
‘We have tried to increase our dealer numbers and we need representation in the big cities, but we’ve hit some problems,’ said Mr Lee, pictured above.
‘The network in the UK on the whole is a good one, but we do need to expand.’
He added that assistance is available for potential new dealers to help fund these often expensive city start ups and that Kia would be happy to come up with a business model that was ‘suitable for all parties’.
Mr Lee also explained how important the UK was for Kia – it’s the best performing arm in Europe and ranked up their alongside their top global arms.
And he said despite the end of scrappage he still expects sales to RISE in 2010.
‘We want growth this year,’ he said. ‘At the end of last year we were concerned about the market in the UK but the first half of the year has been better than last and even figures up to today show growth.’
Mr Lee expects the new Sportage – which will arrive in June – to play an important part in keeping sales buoyant this year.
by JAMES BAGGOTT
Here’s a video of the new Sportage produced by Kia out here in Korea