Fleet News

Born again Kia to rebuild network

THE Geneva Motor Show signalled the 'rebirth' of Kia Motors Corporation following its rescue three months ago by Hyundai. After 18 months of pain, according to Kia Cars UK head of marketing Gary Elliott, the company is now looking ahead to a bright future kicking off with a string of new launches later this year.

The new-look Kia was officially launched at the show by recently appointed Kia Motors Europe president Y K Youm and he spoke as it was confirmed that the manufacturer had re-appointed the Tunbridge Wells-based MCL Group as its sole UK distributor. The future of Kia was clouded after its went into court protection in July 1997 following suspension of its shares on the Korean Stock Exchange as the 'Asian Crisis' deepened and Kia effectively went bankrupt. After two international auctions, Hyundai outbid Ford and Samsung Industries to take a controlling 51% stake in Kia.

Kia Car UK saw its dealer network shrink from 120 outlets in July 1997 to 76 today but it plans to have a 140-strong network within two years.

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