In this week's automotive round-up, we hear how Kia overcame its cashflow issue, why the new Polestar 2 is cheaper than its main rival and where the SMMT is setting up its new office.
Kia stuck with stock
Kia was on track for a record March for sales before the pandemic lockdown was imposed, admits UK president and CEO Paul Philpott. Instead, the Korean brand suffered an acute cashflow issue for dealers. “We had 5000 cars that we thought we’d sold sitting in compounds; that alone was a huge cashflow issue,” said Philpott. “We worked really hard with our colleagues in Europe and Korea to support [dealers] and to extend credit lines to help.”
Sweden the deal
The new Polestar 2 Performance significantly undercuts its Tesla Model 3 Performance rival on price in the UK, thanks to a technicality with the government’s grant for EVs. The Model 3 Performance is a model in itself and thus over the £50,000 threshold for qualifying for the grant, whereas Polestar classifies its Performance upgrade as an option, making the 2 still eligible for the £3000 off.
Despite the transition period for the UK leaving the European Union ending on 31 December, the SMMT is setting up a new office in Brussels, Belgium – the heart of EU operations. “We will be outside the room, but we do want to be at least there listening in,” said boss Mike Hawes. “We do need a voice to ensure that UK-specific manufacturing needs – particularly around small-volume car makers – are heard.”