Officials at Kia are convinced that the private hire sector can play a key role in the launch of their next challenger to the Vauxhall Vectra and Ford Mondeo.
As a result, they are poised to offer ‘unique’ levels of support to operators as part of plans to roll out the new Magentis saloon range this summer.
Managing director Paul Williams said: ‘We recognise that our products need greater exposure to the public and believe that taxi and minicab operators offer the perfect platform for this. We are going to pursue both markets in an aggressive manner and want to support them in ways that have never been tried before.’
Speaking at the launch of the new four-door saloon range in Spain, Williams revealed that Kia was in negotiation with companies providing funding services to the sector and said it was also planning to organise competitions for operators that will offer cars as prizes.
He said: ‘As well as being in touch with the travelling public, these drivers do a lot of work to support good causes in their local communities. Much of this goes unnoticed and we are keen to help bring it to the fore.
‘We will reveal our plans closer to the launch of the car, but the reason why we want to help these drivers is our belief that they are unsung heroes who often operate in areas where the public transport is lacking. They deserve a little support.
‘But in return, we think they could well turn out to be ambassadors for Kia. Our research has shown these drivers tend to be most enthusiastic about the merits of the cars they use to earn their living – their testimonials are priceless and could well lead to the extra sales we’re seeking,’ Williams added.