Fleet News

CCIA 2017: Kia debates practicality over reduced emissions

John Hargreaves

Kia's head of fleet and remarketing John Hargreaves (pictured) talks to Fleet News about the challenges fleets may face with fuel. 

FN: What models have fleets been excited about on your stand this year?

John Hargreaves (JH):The car which people have been most interested in is the Niro SUV. It’s currently available only as a hybrid but we will be launching a plug-in hybrid version in the summer, which we expect to grow fleet interest further. People have also been particularly interested in the new Picanto, even though it is not majorly a fleet vehicle, Sportage and the Optima Plug-in, which has CO2 emissions of 37g/km.

FN: What are your hopes for 2017?

JH: It has been a very interesting market for us because we had pretty high expectations for the first three months and we completely surpassed them: the market was up and we were outperforming it. Since then it has been something of a different picture – the market is down and although our share has increased (fleet share is up around 0.7% year-on-year), our volumes are down. We hope the market will recover to similar levels to those at the start of year and we will maintain our share.

FN: What is the biggest challenge for fleets this year?

JH: One of the challenges is whether a fleet wants to be seen as a leader of operating ultra-low emission cars, which will get you good PR, but sacrifice an amount of practicality because of the refuelling options. Or do they want to be a follower where their fleet is as efficient as possible but perhaps not as good on the emissions side?


CCIA June 13 and 14, 2017 Gallery

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  • The Engineer - 05/07/2017 15:24

    I thought the Niro might well have been my next fleet car. Sadly pretty disappointing, mainly because although it was designed to be a hybrid/EV from scratch, I assumed they could avoid the usual compromises. It seems not, the petrol/hybrid is a bit small with too small a boot, the PHEV version even more so with a severely undersized boot for class. If your going to bother designing from scratch, surely a chassis design with a bit more height and room to accommodate the hybrid bits without harming practicality would have been the master plan? instead they made it lower than many crossovers! Pity, its a promising power-train sold short in a disappointing application.

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