KIA Motors (Lanka) Limited has announced plans to invest an estimated Rs. 1 billion over the next three years to expand service infrastructure in Sri Lanka, following phenomenal sales and the growing demand for and popularity of its vehicles.
Sales of KIA SUVs Sorento and Sportage exceeded 1,500 units in the first six months of the year, the company said, making the design-driven Korean brand one of the most popular in the new vehicle segment.
Meanwhile, orders are flowing in for all models including the 2011 KIA Optima luxury sedan previewed in Colombo in May.
Two new models, the new Rio mid-sized hatchback and the five-door compact Picanto, are eagerly awaited by a fast-expanding KIA fan base, said KIA Motors Managing Director Mahen Thambiah.
He disclosed that KIA Motors had options on several new sites for service facilities to support the increased flow of KIA vehicles into the country. With work on the second facility already commenced, the expansion plan would be in two stages and represents a significant value addition for KIA customers in Sri Lanka.
“Although worldwide demand for KIA vehicles continues to outpace production capacity, KIA has promised to support us, because KIA Motors Lanka has recorded the highest growth in the region,” Thambiah said.
Dismissing as ‘mere speculation’ recent reports of agency reviews, he disclosed that instead the agency relationship would be further strengthened together with the company structure inclusive of management participation, in conformance with KIA’s ‘Global Space Identity’ (GSI) requirements.
He attributed the distinctive road presence common to the new generation of KIA models across categories – the result of elegant new styling by Chief Designer Peter Schreyer – comprehensive features, new high performance engines with optimal fuel efficiency and value-for-money pricing, as principal contributors to the high residual values associated with the KIA brand in the local market.
Worldwide, KIA Motors Corporation sold 197,695 passenger cars, recreational vehicles and commercial vehicles in August 2011, recording a year-on-year increase of 13.8 per cent. Cumulatively, through the first seven months of 2011, KIA’s global sales have increased by 18.4 per cent year-on-year to reach 1,609,886 units.