Kia business drive
- New product result in increase of Kia Business Specialist Dealer network
- Aim to increase network from 22 to 30 by the end of 2017
- Dedicated team and resources to go after new fleet business
AS a result of all the new Kia product launches, such as the new Picanto supermini, launching this month, Paul Philpott, president and CEO of Kia UK, has announced that Kia Business Specialist Dealer network (BSD) is expanding.
Talking about the new launches, he said in an interview to Car & Van Funding: “I think the great thing about where we are now, is that we’re in the middle of many new product launches and what that gives our brand is momentum.
“In fleet, that gives a whole new line-up to introduce to potential customers – so we’re taking the step to increase the number of Business Specialist Dealers that we have from 22 to 30.”
According to Paul, these dealers will give Kia greater coverage of the country for those that have dedicated resources and dedicated teams to go after fleet business.
“We clearly have a relationship with all the major fleets and major contract hire companies, but I wouldn’t underestimate the importance of having dealers focusing on the fleet market and they’ve got a range of products now that can go alongside any other competitor brand, in terms of the fleet proposition,” Paul added.
The Sportage has really grown Kia’s fleet business over the last two-years and now that they have the Niro and Optima, that are also key models for the fleet market. The introduction of new Picanto and Rio small cars just widens this range of products that will be appealing to fleet customers.
Kia started 2017 with 20 BSDs and Paul’s plan is to have 30 by the end of the year. “We had 22 at the end of March, but we’re having lots of conversations with dealers about becoming BSDs,” Paul explained.
Paul also told me that as part of their dealer standards programme, every dealer has to have someone who is responsible for local business. Paul went on to say: “We are asking everyone to have a person that’s responsible for local business, because that local town and community business is still a good opportunity for us as a brand.”
But if a dealer wants to be a BSD, there are further standards they have to hit including at least one dedicated member of staff, they also have to run dedicated demonstrators for fleet, a dedicated marketing budget for fleet and provide call centre services for fleet customers.
Paul and his team are also looking at geographic coverage for these dealers, with the bigger cities, the big towns, being the places where they want their fleet dealers to be. However, in the end they want prospective dealers to be proactive about fleet, believing in the opportunity that exists.