Kia wants to surpass 500,000 units in 2012, dealer network to grow to 800

Kia’s Vice Chairman Hank Lee has recently announced the high expectations the brand has for itself for 2012.

As for sales number, Kia is anticipating an increase of new vehicle sales, from 2010’s 356,000 to 470,000 for this year. U.S. numbers have gone up 37 percent through last month and surpasses last years total. For 2012, the brand expects to sell in excess of 500,000 units.

Kia is not only focusing on how many are buying, but also who is selling its products. Lee notes that “We will increase the number of U.S. dealers from 760 to about 800 by next year.” To do this, Kia will be taking its vehicles off the lots of uninterested or poor-performing dealerships, and focus on dealers that are interested in investing in the brand.

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Some existing dealers have gotten assistance from Kia to move to better locations, or have signed on for some reconstruction via the “Gallery” program. Lee says “Dealer profitability is way up, and we know that by strengthening the dealers, along with the product, we have a pillar for long-term growth.”

– By: Alexandra Koken

Source: Automotive News