Hyundai Motor affiliate Kia's UK national sales company (NSC) said it booked record corporate sales in 2013 as its dealers won close to 40% more fleet and company car 'user chooser' sales.

"Strong increases in contract hire, public sector and leasing business helped push corporate sales - excluding rental and Motability - for the Kia brand to new levels," the automaker said.

Public sector sales rose from "virtually zero in 2010" to more than 2,500 cars in 2013 and contract hire numbers - through the in-house operated finance arm - soared from 221 to 3,200 in the same period.

The Sportage, Cee'd and Rio models for more than 12,000 sales in 2013.

John Hargreaves, Kia Motors (UK) head of fleet and remarketing, said: "Increasing business sales through our network has been central to our plan over recent years and we are now seeing a very strong return from that strategy.

"We took a decision to carefully manage our sales into the big fleet channels such as daily rental and Motability and we have provided support for our dealers to help them understand and maximise the local business possibilities and to compete effectively.

"Overall that means we saw a 37% increase in this area of business during 2013 - with strong growth in all channels including independent contract hire, Kia contract hire and, rewardingly, in the public sector," he added.

Business registrations via the dealer network rose from just under 3,100 in 2010 to more than 14,000 vehicles last year for a market share of 2.7% - excluding daily rental, Motability and demonstrators.

Hargreaves said UK dealers had enjoyed some success with sales to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which buy cars in much the same way as retail purchasers. That sector increased by 30% in 2013.

Kia plans continued growth in these channels in 2014 to further direct "profitable and sustainable business" through its dealer network - although centrally negotiated large fleet business will still be managed and handled by head office "to both ensure an appropriate presence in those markets and to protect residual values".

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Kia dealers build corporate success

  • More company motorists turning to Kia
  • Kia dealers capturing more business customers
  • Sportage, cee'd and Rio the big winners

At the same time as Kia recorded best-ever sales figures in 2013, its dealers up and down the country saw more and more business and company car users beating a path to their door.

Strong increases in contract hire, public sector and leasing business helped push corporate sales - excluding rental and Motability - for the Kia brand to new levels, delivering important commercial success for Kia's 177 dealers throughout the UK.

A remarkable increase in Public Sector sales saw Kia's performance in this sector rise from virtually zero in 2010 to more than 2,500 cars in 2013 and Kia Contract Hire numbers rocketed from 221 to 3,200 in the same period. Sportage, cee'd and Rio all performed strongly - accounting for more than 12,000 sales in 2013.

John Hargreaves, Head of Fleet and Remarketing at Kia Motors (UK) Limited said: "Increasing business sales through our network has been central to our plan over recent years and we are now seeing a very strong return from that strategy. We took a decision to carefully manage our sales into the big fleet channels such as daily rental and Motability and we have provided support for our dealers to help them understand and maximise the local business possibilities and to compete effectively.

"Overall that means we saw a 37 per cent increase in this area of business during 2013 - with strong growth in all channels including independent contract hire, Kia contract hire and, rewardingly, in the Public Sector," he added.

That has meant an increase in business registrations via the dealer network from just under 3,100 in 2010 to more than 14,000 vehicles last year. That represents a market share of 2.7 per cent - excluding daily rental, Motability and demonstrators.

Hargreaves commented that one major area of success for dealers has been in sales to Small and Medium Enterprises - where cars are bought very much in the same way as retail cars. That performance increased by 30 per cent in 2013.

Kia is targeting continued growth in these channels in 2014 to further focus profitable and sustainable business through the dealer network - although centrally negotiated large fleet business will still be carefully managed and handled by Kia centrally to both ensure an appropriate presence in those markets and to protect residual values.

Original source: Kia UK