The South Korean automaker is confident that it will keep its strong position on the Russian market, a company’s region executive told Reuters.
The Russian automotive market keeps struggling, as the country’s economy is facing the worst pace in a decade and all automakers are trying to cope with the ongoing crisis. Even if Kia was inevitable hit by these circumstances, the South Korean brand is holding a solid position as the third-largest carmaker in Russia. The company foresees its sales to slightly drop again in 2016, but aims to keep its top place by increasing its market share, Managing Director Alexander Moinov told Reuters in an interview. Kia plans to hit 160,000 deliveries at the end of this year, compared to 163,500 in 2015, a result that would translate into around 11 percent market share, from the current 10.2. “As a minimum, we want to maintain our share. At best, increase it,” Moinov said. “Our goal is the horizon. We will see where the market takes us.” Kia’s main sales driver in the country is its small Rio model, which was Russia’s third most popular car in 2015. To overpass its rivals, Kia relied on a low-price strategy, backed up by investment in local production.
The Russian auto market keeps going down, with a further 13.4 percent drop last month to 111,145 sales of new cars and light commercial vehicles, according to last week statement from the Association of European Businesses in Moscow. “The pace of year-on-year decline is slowing down visibly, with minus 13% to the smallest value in 14 months,” Cairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee said.