A £40,000 Kia is in the pipeline as the brand continues its relentless march upmarket. Following record monthly UK sales in March – with 19,204 Kia cars sold – UK boss Paul Philpott told Auto Express that the company is considering a new top-spec Kia Sorento.
“Thirty per cent of Kia’s sales are now for top-series cars,” he said. “We’ve introduced a KX-4 spec for the Sportage, and now we are looking to see if we can do the same on the Sorento.”
The move is at the dealers’ request, and would see the Sorento fitted with every conceivable extra.
Meanwhile, Kia cars and their sister Hyundai models will look very different in future, as Kia design chief Peter Schreyer takes over responsibility for both brands’ styling.
Philpott said: “One of Peter’s remits is to have very distinct identities for the brands.
“That way he can start to address the issue of differentiation between Kia and Hyundai, which we have constantly been told is an issue.
“It’s important, because if products are similarly positioned, the only difference is design.”
And Philpott has firm ideas on how Kia’s look should evolve. “I would like the sportiness [of Kias] accentuated,” he said. “I’d like us to push design in a direction that is sporty and fun.”
Philpott is targeting 100,000 annual sales for Kia in the next five-to-seven years, which would it into Britain’s top five selling car companies. It should sell around 70,000 this year.