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Kia Solves Supply Issues, Sportage Sales Go Through The Roof
If you believe that Hyundai and Kia make nothing but Korean cars, you would be wrong.
It may surprise you to learn that a pair of their best-selling models in Australia were actually made in eastern Europe.
It seems as though the decision to source compact SUV’s from Europe is paying dividends, with the Kia Sportage SUV and Hyundai ix35 both hitting record sales numbers.
Kia said last month that they would be relying on their Slovakian plant to supply the Australian market with the Sportage in an effort to improve supply levels.
Supply problems have been a real headache for the Kia Sportage – one of designer Peter Schreyer’s new designs for the company – since it arrived on the market in 2010.
The biggest issue was that the Korean plant was simply unable to keep up with the demand for the vehicle.
On the other side of the world the European car market was in a state of decline, leaving the Slovakian facility looking for somewhere to send its vehicles.
The supply issues in Australia proved to be the perfect solution.
Record Kia Sportage Sales In Australia
The Australian arm of Kia announced the switch to Slovakian-made models in June, as it was believed they had enough units on the ground to make a sizeable sales impact for the month.
The proof of that came when the June figures were announced, with 817 Sportages sold in June, almost double the 462 units sold the previous July.
The sales were up a staggering 79.6% over last year.
Sportage Series 2 Launch
There were some nice extra features added to the European Series 2 Sportage models, including as HID headlamps, cornering lamps, partial leather seat trims, a rear seat warmer, front wiper de-icer and an economy mode on the diesel automatic version that dulls the throttle response and optimises the gearbox to chase fuel economy.
It was not just the introduction of cars from Europe that help boost the sales figures, though, with driveaway deals and factory bonuses also playing a part.
Having more stock on hand was definitely the key to the overall success, though.
Hyundai ix35 Sales Soar As Well
This type of move is nothing new, as Hyundai had already announced six months earlier that they would be importing the Czech-built petrol-powered ix35 Special Edition to supplement local supply.
A diesel version of the car arrived a couple of months later in March.
The boost in supply took the Hyundai ix35 to previously unseen sales levels, with sales figures up 65.9% year to date.
That jump was enough to propel the car past the Nissan Dualis and make the ix35 the most popular small SUV in Australia.
The 2,225 units sold in June was the best single month performance of an SUV since the Ford Territory in 2005.
HMCA general manager of public relations Bill Thomas said the European-sourced SE accounted for 1149, or 51.6 per cent, of all ix35 sales in June.
Mr. Thomas reiterated that it wasn’t just the supply that helped the numbers, but did admit that the increased supply showed the possibilities that could come when demand was met.