KIA this week clubbed together its dealers to reveal plans for driving sales forward in a post-scrappage 2010.
At a conference for the marque’s 143-strong franchise network, Kia top brass explained they wanted dealers to focus on sales processes now scrappage is coming to an end.
With 50,000 Kias finding homes last year – a record for the firm – executives are keen dealers maintain contact with these customers to capitlise on future sales opportunities.
Dealers were also told a £3.5m marketing campaign was about to be unveiled to promote the brand’s bold move in offering a seven-year warranty on all its cars.
Plans include television advertising and slots in every national newspaper that’ll be combined with a co-ordinated push from dealers.
‘Together we have had a tremendous year – I know that at the start of 2009 most dealerships were simply looking for survival but instead just about every dealer has had a record year with the brand,’ Michael Cole, managing director of Kia Motors (UK) told the conference.
‘We want every dealer to focus on sales processes to ensure that we maintain the momentum. Equally we want all our dealers to pick up the challenge of further improving the customer experience and lifetime management so that we do not miss out on the potential future benefit of all those scrappage customers.’
Dealers were told Kia would be offering some of the best PCP rates available to help attract retail buyers in 2010.
Yaser Shabsogh, sales director, acknowledged that overall sales were likely to be down around 10 per cent in 2010, but said that Kia would still be looking to increase its market share.
‘Kia will be seeking to support dealers’ efforts to attract local business sales as well as increasing retail penetration,’ he said.
He also said the new Venga would have a significant price advantage over rivals such as the Citroen C3 Picasso, the Nissan Note and the Vauxhall Meriva plus big equipment advantages too.
Hamish McCowan, aftersales and logistics director, urged dealers to make the most of the scrappage sales boost by enhancing their customer-contact system and capitalising on both the additional numbers of new Kia owners and the seven-year warranty.
He said there were great financial opportunities for workshop returns if dealers ensured their customer databases were up to scratch and put greater focus on ensuring good response to enquiries.
And former Kia UK managing director Paul Philpott made a return to the UK in his new role as COO of Kia Motors Europe.
He congratulated the network on hitting record sales levels and leading Europe in terms of growth during 2009.
‘I want to be able to use the UK as a benchmark again next year as I seek to help develop the network across Europe,’ he said.
‘I am proud of what you have all achieved during a very difficult period – a year ago I told you we had to be fit for the future but now I believe you are ready to power ahead and move Kia into the top 10 of mainstream brands in the UK.’
by JAMES BAGGOTT
(thanks to Steve Kitson for his help preparing this article)
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