The Kia Seltos has been a runaway success story for the brand, with demand outstripping supply for the new small SUV.
It competes with the likes of the Hyundai Kona, Honda HR-V and Mitsubishi ASX, and the Seltos - which launched in Australia in October 2019 - is not only adding sales to the tally for the brand, it’s not cannibalising the other products in the range as much as the company thought it might.
That realisation has lead to Kia Australia predicting yet another year of growth in 2020, despite the general market feel being for another year of softening.
Kia Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith said the brand is likely on target to hit 65,000 sales locally next year, which would be yet another all-time record for the brand.
“We think we can probably grow between four and five per cent this year, because we’ll have a full year of Seltos. Our product is going to help us there, significantly I think.
“We believe we’ll hold on to our small-passenger-car volumes reasonably well - there’ll probably be a little bit of a dip with those three,” he said of the Picanto, Rio and Cerato. “But we’re pretty confident we can go close to being at 64,000 or 65,000 cars this year.”
Kia was the only top-10 brand in 2019 to see an increase in sales, registering 61,503 sales (an increase of 4.6 per cent year-on-year), and easily outpacing the market, which was down 7.8 per cent in total last year. Were Kia to register 65,000 sales in 2019, it would have beaten Ford to be fifth on the overall charts.
The first full year of Seltos sales will certainly help improve Kia’s fortunes, even if some of the other models in the passenger segment may flatten or drop in 2020.
It’s clear that customers are choosing the more affordable models in the Seltos range, with the sales split currently running at 90 per cent front-wheel drive and 10 per cent all-wheel drive. The AWD models are listed from $34,990, where the FWD models range from $24,990 to $31,490.
Kia also has the all-new Sorento seven-seater to pin its hopes to, as that model has been confirmed to be “six months away”, and the company also confirmed it will launch the smaller Stonic SUV in the final quarter of 2020, too.