One of the more impressive things in the European motoring world is the seven-year warranty Kia offers on its European-built models.
The Korean firm is the only manufacturer in Europe to a warranty of this length. As well as being available on the Cee’d and Sportage models, it’s also going to feature on next year’s Venga mini MPV.
But why is it only available on the European-built models? Whereas Kia’s factories in Europe are modern and technologically advanced, its factories in Korea aren’t quite up to the standards of those in the west yet.
This is soon to change, however, and Kia is currently undergoing a modernisation process of its plants in Korea to bring them more into line with those found in Europe.
The results? As one Korean executive told me, Kia could soon be in a position to offer as standard the aforementioned seven-year warranty as standard across its entire range within the next two to three years.
This is by no means a given yet, but if indeed it does happen, you’d have to think other manufacturers may start sweating a little.
Kia at the moment is most concerned with fully establishing itself as a brand in the UK and will be launching new or updated models of every car in its range within the next two years (Sorento, Venga and Sportage in 2010, Rio, Picanto and Magentis in 2011). This would make the Soul the oldest model in the range and that was only released earlier this year.
With new products, improved dynamics, excellent value and that seven-year warranty, it’d be a brave person who bets against the rise of Kia in the UK continuing when the scrappage cash runs out.