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Kia plans to build on scrappage total

Date: 06 January 2010   |   Author: Tristan Young

Kia hopes its record sales figures in 2009 will give it a stepping stone to be taken more seriously in fleet.

Speaking at the end of last year at the launch of the Kia Venga supermini-MPV, UK managing director Michael Cole said: "We've mixed emotions leaving 2009. It will be a record year for us and may yet hit 50,000 cars sold, which would be not just a UK record but also a European record.

"We're leaving scrappage behind, but we've also lifted the brand in the UK market.

"The product is now more European in styling and quality and this is the direction we're going. Coming up, we're looking to replace four cars with all-new products."

Kia plans to maintain its current 28% fleet mix during 2010, including a low percentage of daily rental cars.

"Our daily rental mix is about 3000 cars a year, which out of 50,000 is about 6%, it's not very high. It's something we've got hold of a few years ago and stopped doing daft deals. And 50% of these daily rental cars are on buy-back," said Andrew Sellars, Kia UK fleet and remarketing director.

The new Venga is expected to account for 5% of Kia's fleet volume in 2010, according to Sellars.

"Ceed is our volume fleet car, fleets have seen that and are asking what else we've got. Fleets like the Ceed because it's got great whole-life costs and good eco credentials. Venga will dove-tail with the Ceed, but it's a car for people who need more flexibility.

"We've got a strong appeal with NHS fleets because of the costs and tax position. The Shetland Islands NHS fleet has just gone solus Kia.

"We're also popular with essential user fleets for the same reasons," he added.