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Lengthy warranty gains muted applause

Date: 09 October 2006

Kia's offering a seven-year warranty with its Cee'd

The news of UK's 'best' warranty package yet - seven years or 100,000 miles from Kia on its forthcoming Focus rival, the Cee'd - has been met with a mixed response from RV experts.

The offer puts it straight to the top of the industry warranty league and is made up of a free and fully transferable five years' cover for the entire car and an additional two years' cover for the powertrain. However, hard-to-please RV experts said fleets should not expect RVs to rise as a result - not yet anyway.

Glass's Kia expert Chris Smith explained: "Part of the problem is awareness. When Hyundai first did its five-year warranty it took a long time for that news to filter down to the used car market. Independent dealers can make good money from selling extended warranties on used cars, too, so are maybe loath to take such cars from auction. But after a while, a three-year old Hyundai with two years left on its warranty sitting on dealer forecourts has certainly become a nice sales prospect. Kia's move shows a courage and conviction in its product."

CAP's Mark Norman agreed: "The bigger warranty is there to change the perception of Kia. It's nice to have at sale and resale time, but will it really make a used buyer change the car he or she ends up buying - which it what makes for better RVs? I doubt it."

The seven-year warranty applies to all Cee'd vehicles coming out of Kia's new European plant in Slovakia. There are no plans to extend the deal to Kia's other products at present.