Kia reveals new Optima
02 April 2015
Kia will look to increase its share of the fleet market with its next-generation Optima saloon ahead of going on sale in the UK late this year.
Full details are yet to be announced but the new model is expected to come with Kia's latest diesel engines, as well as mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions.
The new model has been shown off at the New York motor show this week, but so far only US specification details have been revealed.
Kia has already shown off its Optima estate in concept form at the Geneva motor show in March with the Sportspace, but the saloon will be available in the UK first.
Paul Philpott, Kia UK president and chief executive, told BusinessCar at the show that the Optima would not compete with German premium manufacturers with large corporate deals, but it would help to increase the brand's SME sales.
Kia is still a retail-focused brand, with 45% of sales going to corporate customers, and new fleet models such as the Optima will see it increase towards a 50/50 split.
The company saw fleet volumes increase by 4.4% last year to 34,575 units, but dropped behind market growth and a place down to 13th in the sales tables behind Skoda, which enjoyed success on the back of a full year of new Octavia sales. Philpott is expecting less growth in the UK market this year and as a result is expecting true fleet sales to increase by 5%.