Kia Europe President Brandon Yea says that the automaker will continue to grow in the region this year despite economic crisis.
The South Korean automaker keeps its target of reaching annual sales of 420, 000 units by 2016 in Europe, from 338,000 units sold in 2012. During the first quarter Kia’s sales increased 3.5% in a market which fell 10%. Brandon Yea believes that that company will manage to sell more cars this year than in 2012 and that Kia’s strategy is to approach its target carefully.
Kia relies on its C-segment to increase sales, especially SUVs, such as the Sportage. The automaker will not resort to big discounts to attract new buyers as its goal is to reach quality growth and not quantity. Yea is aware of the fact that the auto market in Europe will not see the levels from 2006 and 2007, but he is confident that it will not stay at the current 12 million vehicles either.
Currently Kia manufactures 60% of the cars sold in Europe at the Zilina plant in Slovakia and the rest are imported from Korea. The automaker pays taxes of 746 million euro annually to governments in Europe and has 34,000 employees and 2,146 dealers in the region.