09 October 2009
Kia Production: 2008
Kia claim they have the power to surprise, but I must say their range does nothing to surprise me. They do sell rather well, based on value rather than surprise factor or innovation. The new model Soul (pictured) is trying to break that mould. Production of Kia cars/LCVs went from 1,140,000 (1.8% worldwide share) in 2005 to 1,395,000 (2.1%) in 2008. One change is that whereas 95% of Kias were made in South Korea in 2005, that has quickly moved down to 76% by 2008. They were still only made in three countries in 2008, as the statistics below show:
Korea 1,050,000 76%
Slovakia 202,000 14,5%
China 140,000 10%
Kia is benefitting from many of the scrappage shemes doing the rounds presently, as they do make mostly smaller vehicles and these have benefitted the most. However, when they cease, as they are now doing, that will reign back increase. Still, one can only assume they will continue to grow steadily for the time being. How they move forward with new models and an expanded model range will determine how they fare further down the line.
The bottom line: The Chinese are coming, so moving up in quality is where Kia is at the moment.