Kia Soul gains momentum in NZ

Kia’s new crossover the Soul is already recording strong sales, just a few weeks after making its debut in major markets.

The quirky five-door Kia Soul is doing well in Europe and the US as the Korean manufacturer is working hard to keep up with demand.

Company officials in the North American markets are already working on plans to increase their orders by 20%, after sales of the Soul in the first two months following its launch beat predictions. Kia had planned on selling 40,000 Souls in the US and Canada in its first full year but are now looking at adding another 10,000 to that total.

And in Europe sales of the Kia Soul are around 13% higher than predicted in its first two months, in spite of the recession that has seen car sales in general slump by more than 35%.

Here in New Zealand consumer interest in the Kia brand is increasing, with dealers reporting that the launch of the Soul in April is driving significantly increased numbers of people into showrooms to see the highly styled model, even though the car industry locally reported its worst sales month in 34 years.

“All car brands suffered in April in New Zealand, including Kia, but we are fortunate that we have two exciting new models in the Soul and Cerato that are boosting enquiries with our dealers and although it is taking longer for deals to be closed we are confident of turning the increased interest into sales,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand Ltd. “People are now talking about Kia in terms of ‘freshness’ and being a ‘design-led brand’, which is creating a real buzz that can only be good for us in the long term.”

Mr McDonald says that now Easter, the school holidays and the disruption of having two new models launching very close together are behind them, Kia dealers are back in the groove and May sales are already looking significantly better than April.

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