Kia has ruled out introducing larger, upmarket models to the UK market, but sees potential for more upscaled variants of existing products.
UK commercial director, Yaser Shasbogh, played down the introduction of models like the K9/Quoris and K7/Cadenza saloons. He said: “There’s always a chance of selling a car like that, but at what volume? That segment is by definition very premium and it’s very small for non-premium brands.
“We’re not planning to do anything like that in the near future, but we would like to do a sports car. But we wouldn’t necessarily want to go up [in size or prestige] in the range.”
“German premium marques are involved in a war for leadership and are spending an awful lot of money fighting for every single unit. And Japanese brands are struggling to find a space in the market. It isn’t a market where we can just bring in a big car with nice, high margins. It would be expensive to do, expensive to sell and just a distraction from our business.
“But we want to be a dynamic brand and that sits a lot better. The only thing that is missing is a sports car.”
Shasbogh says that although not actively targetting current owners of German and Japanese premium marques, dealers are receiving a significant number of models in part exchange.
While the introduction of larger, more expensive models that could confuse Kia’s value-for-money reputation, sales director David Ovenden says it would be easy to expand the range of variants offered in existing model ranges.
“We sell a rich mix of models; a high mix of ‘2’ and ‘3’ grades and we think there’s potential for us to have even richer grades like 4s across all our models”, he said.