Business Times

KIA Motors (Lanka) to sell 2300 motorcars this year

KIA Motors (Lanka), the Sri Lankan agency for South Korea's KIA Motors, says it has recorded phenomenal sales with the growing demand for its vehicles.The company’s vehicle sales will increase up to 2300 units this year. It has sold more than 1,500 SUVs in first half of 2011, which works out to an average of about eight vehicles a day. This was disclosed by KIA Motors Lanka managing director Mahen Thambiah in an interview with the Business Times. He emphasized that the company always strives to cater to the needs of young and young at heart seeking quality vehicles.

This segment always looks for attractive design with electrifying colour. That is why orders are flowing in for all KIA models, he said. "Sales of KIA SUVs ‘Sorento’ and ‘Sportage’ exceeded 1,500 units in the first six months of the year," he added. The Rio mid-sized hatchback is to be introduced to the market soon and the five-door compact Picanto is gaining popular at present, he revealed. Sri Lankan cutomers have been greatly attracted to eye catching designs of Chief Design Officer at Kia Motors Peter Schreyer widely known for his design contributions to the Audi, he said. Kia Sportage, a recently launched vehicle in Sri Lanka as an all-new compact SUV is destined to be a head turner on local roads, he revealed. The new Kia Sportage is the first model from the Korean maker to be designed from scratch by Schreyer.

KIA Motors (Lanka) Ltd is to invest Rs 1 billion over the next three years to expand service infrastructure in Sri Lanka, he said. Three more service stations will be set up within the Colombo metropolitan region in addition to their current service station at Union Place in Colombo. Their second service station is now being built at Battaramulla, Pelawatta at a cost of Rs.250 million. The facility will be opened next year, he said. It will be able to repair 80 vehicles at a time.

The other two service stations will be set up in Peliyagoda, Ratmalana and Kalubowila. Kurunegala and Matara have been earmarked for service stations with vehicle show rooms by the company under its expansion plan, Mr. Thambiah said. He disclosed that KIA Motors had options on several new sites for service facilities to support the increased flow of KIA vehicles in to 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, he said.

The demand for KIA vehicles continues to outpace production capacity. However, KIA has pledged to assist KIA Lanka, because KIA Motors Lanka has recorded the highest growth in the region. The local KIA agent’s relationship is expected to be further strengthened together with the company structure inclusive of management participation in accordance with KIA’s ‘Global Space Identity’ (GSI) requirements, Mr. Thambiah said.

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