A renewed attack on the mini peoplemover segment and a new small car will lead the Kia charge next year.
The new Rondo seven-seater - including a diesel model - will follow a phased release of the new Cerato range in the first half of 2013, including a diesel variant of the mini peoplemover. Kia national sales manager Alan Crouch believes the Rondo seven-seater is headed for an untapped market segment.
"We think it has a huge, a latent market because it looks more like a hatchback."
"We like the set-up of the seven-seater, they haven't caught the imagination here because they haven't looked like a good hatch," Crouch says. Kia Australia chief operating officer Tony Barlow says the Korean brand is also looking at models from the sport coupe end of the spectrum - although there's nothing from the Veloster family with a Kia badge in the immediate future.
The Track'ster that will star for Kia at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney later this month is set to show a possible future path, Barlow says. "The Track’ster will be out here at the motor show - and that will catch people's eye, that's a concept car that could come to reality as well.".
Barlow says the Pro-cee'd is also being further examined by the brand for Australia but had a few hurdles to clear yet. "It is something we'd like to have a bit of a closer look at, it went on sale in Europe in May - we had a look at it in Paris and it's something we'll follow up on, but at this point in time it's nothing firmer than a thought," he says.
The brand's last few years have been the most exciting for the Kia badge in Australia. "We've been here for about 15 years, the last third has seen the most exciting changes have occurred." "Since Sportage it has been a humbling experience to see how well-received Kia has been with customers, voting with their purchases," Barlow says.
"We have launched the 5dr Cerato, the Optima, the Rio and now Sorento - all of that activity has supported our domestic sales and brand strength - we're experiencing 23 per cent growth over 2011, the market is at 9.5 per cent growth," he says. Kia sold 2744 vehicles in September (up by 500 units over September 2011) and is up 4431 sales in 2012 in year-to-date terms.