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Carmaker vows to recapture market

Joshua Lao

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KIA Philippines vowed on Tuesday to recapture lost ground in the vehicle sales space and gain back market share severely eroded in recent years.

According to KIA president Manny Aligada, the immediate goal of selling at least 10,000 units in the year ahead “will be a challenge” given the rapid growth of the industry but that the automaker will endeavor to make it.

In 2017, KIA suffered a sharp drop in sales to only 5,186 units, equal to a 29 percent decline from 2016 and a counter-cycle to the industry’s strong growth last year.

Data from the car company showed a decline in both sales and market share for four consecutive years since 2015 despite registering 10,010-unit sales in the given year.

Aligada said the sales target for 2019 will boost its market share to around two percent from the current 0.6 percent.

“For 2018 to 2019, our intention is to stabilize the brand and the business. It is our intention to build the KIA brand,” Aligada said, noting the need to focus on making financing packages competitive to address the so-called entry barrier.

Earlier, the automaker said in a regulatory filing that Ayala Corp, through its subsidiary, AC Industrials, had signed a distributorship agreement with KIA making AC Industrials its official distributor. The agreement was seen to boost sales as the brand is reintroduced.

“Later on, without putting a timeline but immediately as possible, (we will) standardize and expand the business (and), while we are in strategic locations, it is also our intention to improve our facilities through our dealership networks,” Aligada said.

The KIA chief executive also vowed to work on new concepts and incorporate digital capabilities in its operations such as contact engagement and sales, noting how the Internet has penetrated the industry.

“We will make sure we will not be left behind,” Aligada said.

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