KIA’S dealer appeal is going up – and that’s according to you.
The latest Sewells’ Dealer Attitude Survey has placed the brand 15th out of 34 marques.
This is the highest increase recorded in the survey, and an eight-point increase over 2007. Quite a change from the past two years, where the Korean maker was branded as one of the least appealing marques.
In 2006, it was ranked 33rd.
MD Paul Philpott was delighted. ‘Kia understands very clearly that, without the enthusiasm and belief of our dealers, we cannot hope to make the brand a success in the current challenging market conditions.’
‘I was particularly encouraged that dealers ranked us in the top 10 for understanding the issues they faced AND acting on that.’
Even response rates were encouraging, with a quarter of the network taking part. Kia says this is in the top 10 for response rates. The brand’s overall average rating of 67.3 is now above average.
Dealers particularly liked improvements to their relationship with Kia. This is up from 31st to 10th. 60 per cent reckon the relationship was improving, aided by a top-eight rating for fairness and relevance of Kia’s franchise standards. New vehicle profitability was also ranked sixth.
Philpott added: ‘I was also heartened to see that more than 90 per cent of responding dealers say they intend to stay with the franchise, and that more than 40 per cent would like to add further outlets to their business – that compares to just 10 per cent two years ago.’
‘Our brand is nothing without a strong and motivated dealer network, and continuing this trend is my number one priority if we are to achieve our ultimate goal of putting Kia firmly in the top 10 of retail performers and hitting 50,000 sales.’