Kia Philippines recently organized a series of online “Round Table Discussions” or media sessions with Kia Philippines President Manny Aligada to discuss the current economic situation, its impact on the automotive industry, and how the company intends to use its Power to Surprise to help ease its effects on the company and its customers. It is often said that behind every dark cloud is a ray of hope. Through the online media sessions, Kia was trying to paint a brighter picture of the post pandemic economy.
It cannot be denied that the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has gripped the entire world during the past few months, has taken its toll on the global economy, as well as the Philippine economy. The fear of the virus, along with the lock down, have caused general weakness of consumer confidence, as well as numerous businesses closing shop. This situation is further aggravated by the challenges facing two major contributors to the country’s economic performance – the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. In turn, these challenges are seen to affect economic indicators such as Gross Domestic Product, which is estimated to slip to 0.6 percent from a projected 6.6 percent for 2020.
The Automotive Industry in the Time of COVID-19
The Philippine automotive industry is similarly affected by the challenges brought by the pandemic with vehicle sales declining by 52 percent year-on-year. Apart from the aforementioned factors, the cautious lending of bank institutions and dealerships challenged to generate volume along with the burden of fixed overhead costs, are seen to dampen the industry’s overall performance.
A Few Bright Spots
However, there are still a few bright spots that business entities, which are still operational, can look forward to. Kia Philippines cites various opportunities for growth and a way to contribute to the local economy. While Kia currently sits at the 10th spot in the local automotive sales rankings, some of its vehicles are seen as being in tune with the new normal way of life. The Picanto and Soluto are perfect for daily drives and for those looking for affordable and economical personal transport.
Then there is the K2500, which is ideal for delivery and shuttle services for businesses. Kia has even taken the initiative to fit its K2500 Karga with plastic dividers to enforce physical distancing measures. From now up to July 31, customers can take advantage of either a low downpayment financing scheme or huge cash discounts for these models.
Other Kia vehicles are also offered with these promotions and are similarly designed for their respective target audience. The adventurous who are itching to go to new places can choose between the Seltos, Sportage, and Sorento. Those folks who want a sensible yet stylish city car that can still hold its own on the open road can opt for the Rio Hatchback or Forte. Families will love the Grand Carnival while performance enthusiasts will marvel at what the Stinger has to offer.
A Few Surprises for the Year
Besides its vehicles, Kia Philippines has a few plans lined up for its clients. During the media session, Mr. Aligada reiterated the announcement made about the opening of four new Kia dealerships by the third quarter of 2020 – Kia Marikina, Kia Fairview, Kia Isabela, and Kia Bonifacio Global City. These new dealerships will bring Kia Philippines’ total dealer network to 34 sales and service facilities. In addition, four more facilities are planned by end of 2020 or early 2021. Kia intends to continue expanding its reach, way into 2021.
To further boost its presence and provide better customer service that Promises to Care, all Kia vehicles are backed by a 5-year or 160,000-km warranty and 24/7 Emergency Roadside Assistance. These will be further boosted by upcoming programs such as increasing its parts line-up by four times and subjecting each dealer to stringent operations standards. Overall objective is to improve the customer experience from the moment they walk into the door to way after the vehicle has been delivered.
More Unboxing Activities Lined Up
Before the year ends, Kia Philippines is set to surprise everyone with two unboxing events. The first is the launch of its Virtual Showroom, which is slated for last quarter of this year. On top of the current website functions, the Virtual Showroom will provide customers the opportunity to shop for a new Kia vehicle from the comfort and safety of their homes. The next activity towards the end of 2020 will be the unboxing of an all-new model, designed to cater to the needs of the Filipino motorists and to provide speedy mobility for the Filipinos.
“The Corona virus and the lock down may have taken their toll on the local and global economy. Yet, we at Kia Philippines, are confident that we will overcome these with sales and aftersales initiatives, continuous expansion of our dealer network, entering into the digital age with a virtual showroom, and an unboxing of an all-new model”, concluded Mr. Aligada. “All these are designed to not only jump start our brand but the economy as well.” With all these surprises, Kia Philippines not only hopes to boost its presence in the country but help uplift our countrymen’s lives with relevant products and services.
For more information, check Kia Philippines on Facebook and Instagram or visit www.kia.com.