Kia is planning to almost double its fleet sales representation this year.
“All of our dealers can sell to fleets but we have 13 business specialist dealers that have specialist fleet accreditation,” explained Michael Cole, Kia’s UK managing director.
“We plan to grow that number to 20 during the year.”
Kia has also upped its communication - doubling its spend on marketing to fleets.
Its message will focus on the Ceed EcoDynamics – with its 110g/km CO2 emissions – which Cole claims is an attractive proposition for fleets.
“The Ceed EcoDynamics is putting us on the shopping list of fleets,” he said.
“When you look at tax for employees, national insurance contributions and the 100% writing down allowance you’ve got an attractive proposition for fleet operators and employees. ”
And fleets are taking notice. Last week Kia secured a deal to supply 92 Ceed EcoDynamics over three years to Avery Berkel.
Cole also suggests Kia’s seven-year warranty could be a bonus for fleets at disposal time.
“If you’re able to dispose of a vehicle after three years and it still has warranty on it that strengthens the residual value position.”
CAP agrees: “It is a fair statement – a three-year-old car with a four-year warranty makes it easier to sell, but whether it increases its value, well the jury is still out,” said CAP’s Mark Bulmer.
The seven-year warranty is a sign of the brand’s confidence and Cole believes that although the market will dip this year Kia could grow its market share and get close to the 50,000 total unit sales it achieved last year.
“It’s about changing brand perception – and we’re doing that,” he said.
“In the fleet market we’re targeting our growth around SMEs and contract hire business.
“It’s a very competitive market.
"There are other brands and manufacturers that have bigger sales teams that have already built up relationships.
"We’re starting from a position further back down the field.”