A 10% hike in list pricing is not thought likely to dampen enthusiasm among fleet buyers for the next generation of one of the most successful business cars yet to emerge from Kia.
Despite the increase, the new Ceed Sportswagon still undercuts direct rivals and comes with superior equipment packaging and lowerwholelife costs, claims John Hargreaves, head of fleet and remarketing at Kia UK.
“Our price advantage no longer needs to be as large as it was because the image of our company is moving upward, as is its product profile. Public sector and service industry companies are now buying into our brand because they like what they see and want it,” he told Fleet News.
Speaking at the launch of the latest hold-all range in Slovakia, he maintained that positive reaction from users promised to be a major driver when plans to market the SW replacement to fleets are rolled out in the next few weeks.
Available early next month, the C-segment car takes over from a model that accounted for 65% of Ceed registrations in Britain.
It is expected to win 7,000 sales next year to be the South Korean company’s leading medium-size fleet contender.
“We have already won a fairly big public sector order for the hatchback and I’m confident the Sportswagon will get support from our fleet launch in Spain next month. Our field force will visit current customers and we will also target every fleet operating this type of car and offer demonstrators,” said Hargreaves.
Based on the new hatchback launched three months ago, the Sportswagon is available only with 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre diesel engines in the UK.
Slightly longer than the SW but lower and narrower, it has attractive curvy lines that belie a cavernous load capacity potential of 528 litres with all seats in place and 1,642 litres with the rear seats folded.
Quality materials and neat detailing provide a polished interior with class-above ambience, and performance from both power units is ample for comfortable and relaxing long distance travel.
Like the hatchback, the all-purpose Ceed is available in four trim levels plus a plush Tech model, but enhanced specifications mean even the entry-level 1 version has luggage area net hooks, a retractable load cover, a rear power socket, roof rails, heated door mirrors, air conditioning, steering wheel controls, daytime running lights, a cooled glovebox, iPod-compatible audio, hill start assist, six airbags and auto door locking.
“This trim offers the features most people want and I believe it will be our most popular version,” said Hargreaves.