How Kia plans to shed its 'low-value' image in the UK

By afaqs! news bureau, New Delhi, February 09, 2018
As Kia has become a top 10 seller in the UK over the years, it no longer sees itself as a challenger brand but as a mainstream competitor, going up against brands such as Nissan, Hyundai, Renault and Peugeot.
Kia's marketing director David Hilbert sets out how the South Korean car brand plans to shed its low-value image and break into the premium car market.

"Low value", "budget" and "small" are just some of the words that Kia's marketing director David Hilbert singles out when he talks about the brand's makeover.

But that could all be about to change if the South Korean manufacturer can pull off its ambitious plan to go premium, a strategy it will be accelerating this year. In recent years, however, Kia has set out to change perceptions by releasing more premium cars, such as its Sportage and Sorento models.

Its latest endeavour, and soon to be the crown jewel in its line-up, is the Stinger. It is the result of nearly 10 years' worth of design and engineering, and a move Hilbert, who joined the brand nearly 18 months ago to drive the transformation, argues will redefine Kia as a "luxury performance" brand.

Kia finished last year with a 3.7 per cent market share. And while UK car sales fell 5.6 per cent in 2017, the brand managed to increase sales by 4.3 per cent - selling over 93,000 vehicles.

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